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Tragedy in Yakutia as man, 18, freezes to death inside broken-down car on Road of Bones at -50C

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 December 2020

His friend fights for life with severe frostbite on drive from Yakutsk to Magadan without preparations for extreme cold.

The two men were driving from Yakutsk to Magadan on the infamous route known as the Road of Bones, constructed in the Stalin era by political prisoners. Picture: Sakha Press

An ice-covered Toyota Chaser was found last night on an abandoned road some 100km from the village of Tomtor in Oymyakon ulus - the coldest permanently inhabited district in the world. 

The car’s radiator was broken. 

A body of an 18-year-old man identified as Sergey Ustinov was found inside the vehicle by a local policeman. 

Sergey’s friend Vladislav Istomin with severe frostbite on his arms and legs is now fighting for his life in hospital in Ust-Nera. 

Tragedy in Yakutia as man, 18, freezes to death inside broken-down car on Road of Bones at -50C
According to first checks carried by police, the young men lost their way when night temperatures plummeted to -50C, which led to the tragedy. Picture: Sakha Press


Police found the car after an all night search of old roads and abandoned villages. 

The two travellers - not dressed for extreme cold - evidently took a wrong turn and their car got damaged.

It is rare in such regions to make journeys with less than two vehicles because of the risk of death from hypothermia if one breaks down.

Nor was their vehicle prepared for a deep winter drive.

.They were found in the abandoned village of Kuraanakh Salaa.

‘The police lieutenant did everything possible to rescue the survived young man. He informed the regional police station and hospital, and got villagers from Tomtor involved in the rescue operation’, the Republic of Sakha Interior Ministry told SakhaPress online newspaper. 

The two men were driving from Yakutsk to Magadan on the infamous route known as the Road of Bones, constructed in the Stalin era by political prisoners.  

According to first checks carried by police, the young men lost their way when night temperatures plummeted to -50C, which led to the tragedy. 

The Oymyajon district of Yakutia is the world's coldest permanently inhabited area. Pictures: Alexander Tyryshkin/The Siberian Times

Tragedy in Yakutia as man, 18, freezes to death inside broken-down car on Road of Bones at -50C


Tragedy in Yakutia as man, 18, freezes to death inside broken-down car on Road of Bones at -50C


Tragedy in Yakutia as man, 18, freezes to death inside broken-down car on Road of Bones at -50C

Comments (2)

Жалко ребят, Господь спаси и сохрани парня. Погибшему вечная память. Как так вот опрометчиво? Мороз шутить не любит. Соболезнование родным и близким покойного.
Александр Колчак, Сибирь
10/12/2020 00:17
7
0
no handy there? very unusual indeed? wonder what they wanted there?
Benedikt MORAK, Russia
05/12/2020 21:57
2
19
1

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