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Explosive success in Battle of Blocked River as Russian military blast away fallen mountain

By The Siberian Times reporter
31 January 2019

Water poised to flow again after huge ‘collapse’ of mountain caused by freak landslide or ‘meteorite strike’.

The equipment and special explosives is being flown to the Bureya River - which is dammed by the recent giant rockfall - in Khabarovsk region. Picture: Today KHV

A major operation to permit the Bureya River to flow again is on the brink of success as Russian army engineers complete one of their most unusual missions. 

Our video shows the explosions to unblock the river - involving an estimated 121 tons of TNT in a series of blasts since 21 January.

Military engineers have blasted through 17 metres (55 ft) of rock over a length of 145 metres (475 ft) and a width of 35 metres (115 ft) to form a new channel for the river.

The Bureya is expected to flow again imminently, with the new channel already lower along most of its length that the water level. 

A second channel will be blasted soon.

Between 25 and 30 million tons of rock last month crashed into the frozen river, with some claiming it was due to a meteorite strike but most scientists blaming a freak landslide. 

It created a mound up to 165 metre (550ft) high damming the river. 

The blockage threatened to flood villages upstream, and deprived a hydropower reservoir downstream of vital water. 

The Baikal Amur Mainline rail link was also threatened with flooding.

In one period of two days, army helicopters delivered about 60 tons of engineering ammunition to the remote site in Khabarovsk region.

Bureya blasts


Bureya blasts


Bureya blasts


Bureya blasts


Bureya blasts


Bureya blasts

Military engineers have blasted through 17 metres (55 ft) of rock over a length of 145 metres (475 ft) and a width of 35 metres (115 ft) to form a new channel for the river.

An army field camp has been set up at the site in Khabarovsk region where soldiers are braving temperatures of minus 33 C.

More than 440 personnel, some 15 pieces of military equipment, including six helicopters and the unmanned drone "Orlan-10" are involved in the operation. 

Deputy Defence Minister General Dmitry Bulgakov said: “The engineering troops completed a big job.”

After the giant rock fall, district head Alexey Maslov claimed a meteorite strike triggered the collapse. 

It is known rocks in the area were “hot” in the aftermath of the December event. 

Most scientists disagree and say it was a large and unusual landslide. 

Military clean the landslide


Military clean the landslide


Military clean the landslide


Equipment delivery


Explosives delivery

A huge excavation operation cleared the debris blasted by the explosions. 

Maslov, head of Verkhnebureinsky district, is impressed with the military operation which has been conducted at ‘simply amazing speed’, he said. 

A huge excavation operation cleared the debris blasted by the explosions. 

Villagers are calm, believing the military operation will save them from flooding, he said.

‘Citizens have no panic, everyone is confident that the military will cope with the debris before the start of the flood.' 

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