URUMQI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Heavy snow sweeping Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has halted traffic and trapped seven people in the mountains, local authorities told Xinhua late on Friday.
The seven were stranded in Guozigou Valley in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, with firefighters receiving a report at 5 p.m..
Seven fire engines, 34 people and three dogs have been sent for the rescue work, said an official of the fire department.
All the trapped are workers in the mountains. Sleet has blocked the Saiguo Highway in the section of Guozigou and it was hindered intermittently from early morning, the official said.
Strong gales forced the closure of the south Xinjiang railway lines between Turpan and Yuergou. All cargo and passenger trains have been stopped since 6 p.m. to avoid danger, said an official with the Urumqi municipal railway bureau.
Influenced by Siberian cold, Xinjiang started to be blasted by snow on Thursday, and temperatures fell to minus 10 degrees Celsius in some areas of the region.