7 Missing After Massive Landslide Traps Cars

A scene from the landslide

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—A massive landslide on the Vanadzor-Bagratashen highway on Sunday trapped 35 cars. Seven people are reported missing as emergency crews continue to work around the clock.

Armenia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has announced the names of the missing seven people, four of whom are Georgian citizens, reported ARKA news agency.

Mud and stones loosened by heavy rains on Sunday night caused the landslide on the major highway connecting Armenia and Georgia, officials from Armenia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Road crews were on the scene and attempting to clear the blockage, but new avalanches were making repair and rescue work more difficult.

The impacted section of the highway, near Ayrum railway station was closed for traffic on Sunday.

The emergency ministry identified the missing people as Arthur Hakobian, born in 1992, Gurgen Hakobian, born in 1949, Gena Surmanidze born in 1961 and Nukri Surmanidze born in 1981, all citizens of Georgia. The other three missing persons are citizens of Armenia. They are Armen Sorsumatian and Mekhak Sorsumatian (born in 1973 and 1964), and Norik Mirzoyan, born in 1939.

Emergency minister Armen Yeritsian was on the scene coordinating the work of rescuers. The press service of the ministry said Georgia’s ambassador to Armenia, Tengiz Sharmanashvili, called in the morning offering assistance from his government.

The Emergency ministry said it has dispatched 70 rescue workers, 20 army servicemen and 4 units of heavy military vehicles and 10 ambulances to the scene. The area was cordoned off by police. Also 70 police officers were sent to the scene to help maintain order

The emergency ministry had warned September 30 that landslides intensified on that section of the highway. The road was cleared, but the threat of landslides persisted. Landslides intensified this summer in Tavush region after torrential rains jeopardizing 75 houses.


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  1. facts said:

    ‎ No surprise! I have past these roads two months ago. Armenian government instead of ‎spending so much money and organizing celebration in central Yerevan for a small group of ‎people, better to spent THAT money for urgent necessary repair works around the roads in ‎Goris/ Mehgri and Tavush Marz! ‎

    • Mir said:

      Why am I not surprised that this would somehow turn into a government bashing?

  2. Viken said:

    Why isn’t the non stop protests in Armenia being reported on Asbarez? I think it’s news worthy, the fact that people are out in central Armenia requesting for the President to step down. What do you think?

    • facts said:

      This is due the wrong doings and failed politic of mostly corrupt ruling elite which makes ‎‎“Levon & CO” become a wrong hero and so called defender of democracy and “independent ‎Armenia” unfortunately the rule of Kocharian and dashnaks was not much better! . Levon ‎Ter-Petrosyan is not a politician. He didn’t know what to do next in 1988´s, he didn’t know ‎eiteh what to do after cease-fire with Azerbaijan in 92 – Levon ter-Petrosyan missed the very ‎unique chance to demand from Azerbaijan a peace treaty and recognize NKR still in 93 … ‎Letvon Ter-Petrosyan was and will remain a tool. I don’t like to justify the injustice in the ‎country and mismanagement … but So called protest did start after ANC had consultation ‎with British and other foreign embassies and so called “foundations”! There is no political ‎culture in the country and ANC like ruling elite do not care really about the need of people! ‎

    • Arthur I said:

      Vorovhetev, Asbareze, otarnerie mamglaviknerin dzerie zanoutsoum chie talis. Bravo Asbarez!