Teenager team led by adult explorers stranded at North Pole - spokesman

A party of seven teenagers, some with limited physical abilities, two Arctic explorers and Russian ombudsman for children Pavel Astakhov is stranded at the North Pole by a snowstorm with their evacuation impossible and their food supply close to running out, Astakhov's spokesman said on Saturday.

A party of seven teenagers, some with limited physical abilities, two Arctic explorers and Russian ombudsman for children Pavel Astakhov is stranded at the North Pole by a snowstorm with their evacuation impossible and their food supply close to running out, Astakhov's spokesman said on Saturday.

"The expedition at the North Pole has resumed contact. The weather has deteriorated sharply - there's a snowstorm. Evacuation is impossible. Their supplies of food and fuel are running out," Renat Abdeyev told Interfax.

"According to a message from Pavel Astakhov, the weather … makes it impossible to evacuate the team by helicopter, and so it's the second day today that the group of seven teenagers led by the well-known Arctic explorers Matvei Shparo and Boris Smolin is forced to wait for better weather in a tent on the summit of the Earth," Abdeyev said.

"Since their reserves of food and fuel are limited, the team has adopted a food austerity regime as no one knows how long they still have to stay at the Pole," he said.

"Everyone is alive and fit and supporting each other," the spokesman said.

The team set off from the Barneo drifting station on April 10. The teenagers - three girls and four boys - are aged 16.

The group has covered dozens of kilometers traveling across an ice plain, spending the nights in tents. Each teenager had been carefully selected for the expedition and received a detailed briefing.

Last year, a similar youth expedition led by Shparo took eight days of skiing to cover a 110-kilometer route from Barneo to the North Pole, starting out on April 7.

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