Family rescued after five days in Siberian woods

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 02, 2012 18:40 hrs

Moscow: A family of three was rescued from a forest in Russia's Siberian region of Tomsk, currently plagued by wildfires, after they laid out the word SOS with the trunks of trees, the regional Emergency Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said, a couple and their 20-year-old son had gone to the Krivosheinsky district near Tomsk over the weekend to pick berries. After getting lost in the woods, the family realised that salvation could only come from the air.

To attract the rescuers' attention, the family "chopped down birch trees and laid out the word 'SOS' in Russian with the white trunks", the ministry said in a statement, adding that "they had to eat berries and pinecone concoctions to survive".

A pilot of the emergency ministry's Mi-26 helicopter noticed the call for help Tuesday and rescued the family.

Meanwhile, the total area of wildfires raging in the Tomsk region, the most affected area of Russia, has decreased significantly, with seven fires out of 29 extinguished as of Wednesday morning, the regional Deputy Governor Igor Shaturny said Thursday.

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