Avalanche claims 4 kids in central Russia

The city of Bugulma in Russia's republic of Tatarstan has announced three days of mourning for four children killed in an avalanche. Three others remain in hospital.

“At the moment the condition of the two girls is serious but not critical. The boy is in a bad condition – he is in the intensive care department. We are providing all medical assistance to him,” said Faid Yagofarov, chief doctor at a local hospital.

The incident took place in the mountainous area of the republic.

Nine people were caught in the accident. Two were rescued from under the snow during the first half hour. Later, the others were evacuated.

The children were skiing and sledging when the avalanche covered them with four metres of snow.

Such accidents are common in the republic, which saw heavy snow last week, followed by a thaw.