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Russian Survivor Found After 19 Days
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One of six Russian canoeists who went missing 19 days ago walks towards a rescue helicopter with the help of two rescuers this morning in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The man was found at 9:30am, walking alone alongside the Yurungkax River 19 days after the group was reported missing in the area. Three of his companions have been found dead. (Xinhua Photo)


At least one of the six Russian canoeists who went missing in Xinjiang 19 days ago is still alive, rescue workers said today, calling the man's survival a miracle. Three of the canoeists have been found dead.


The survivor's identity was not released.






The man was found some 45 kilometers away from Omisha, a village at the mid-point of the Yurungkax River in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at 9:30am today, Xinhua news agency said.


A helicopter carrying rescuers from China and Russia has been hovering for 10 minutes around the site where they spotted a canoe.


The man is being sent back to Hotan City in the region, Xinhua said.


The bodies of his three companions were found nearby five days ago.


Autopsies have shown the three drowned on August 27 or 28, Ma Dexin, an official with the foreign affairs department of Xinjiang government, said yesterday in Honan. The examinations have been approved by Russia, Ma said.


The Russians have been identified as Vladimir Smetannikov, Sergey Chernik, Andrey Pautov, Dmitry Tishchenko, Ivan Chernik and Alexander Zverev, with the youngest aged 25 and the oldest 47.


(Shanghai Daily September 21, 2007)


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