Teen froze to death after wrong turn left him, friend stranded in world’s coldest inhabited region for a week

Sergey Ustinov's friend Vladislav Istomin miraculously survived the ordeal but his 'condition is extremely grave'


                            Teen froze to death after wrong turn left him, friend stranded in world’s coldest inhabited region for a week
(Getty Images)

An 18-year-old boy froze to death after his satellite navigation showed the wrong turn, leading to him being stranded along with his co-passenger in the world's coldest inhabited region for a week. Sergey Ustinov died after temperatures dipped down to -50 celsius after Google Maps instructed him to turn on Russia’s notorious Road of Bones onto a disused shortcut. Reports stated that Ustinov was driving with a friend named Vladislav Istomin, who miraculously survived but is in critical condition now. He has suffered acute hypothermia. It has been said that the two men got stranded after a wooden spike on the snow-covered road damaged their radiator. The victims were not wearing clothes according to the extreme weather and thus suffered frostbite. The two were discovered inside their Toyota Chaser. Health professionals are now working hard to save Istomin’s life. “His condition is extremely grave, we are fighting for his life,” a doctor said as reported by The Sun. 

Ustinov and Istomin were reportedly passing through the world’s coldest city Yakutsk to the port of Magadan, on a Stalin-era highway known as the Road of Bones. It has been reported that a quarter of a million people died during its construction by political prisoners. Yandex Maps - a Russian service - reportedly shows a distance of 1,900 km (1,180 miles) on the Kolyma federal highway through Ust-Nera. But the teenagers followed Google Maps, which showed them a shortcut through Tomtor of 1,733 km (1,076 miles) across snow-covered terrain. A report citing a police probe claimed that the road was deserted by people in the 1970s. Ustinov and Istomin reportedly used a burning tyre to keep themselves warm. They also tried to make calls via their phones, but there was no network.

Investigative Committee official Nadezhda Dvoretskaya said, “A policeman went to Tomtor, because there was information that they were seen there. He started searching with two local residents, and at night they found the car. The men tried to keep warm and burned a tyre. But apparently, they couldn't make a big fire. And they couldn't remove the rest of the tyres.” While a local person said: “They were city guys. That’s why they wore trainers. Now it is very cold here, not yet -60C but at night and in the morning it reaches -57C, and during the day it warms up to -51C.”

In another incident, a seven-month-old baby in Russia was found dead after his mother abandoned him on the balcony. Local officials said that the horrific incident happened in the Russian town of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur in the east Khabarovsk region in January. Temperatures in the region had dropped to a freezing 19 degrees Fahrenheit at the time when the baby was left out on the balcony. The woman whose name has not been released had reportedly kept her toddler in a stroller on the balcony of an apartment building so that the child could sleep in the fresh air. But apparently, she forgot about it only to realize her mistake after five hours. The victim’s death was ruled as hypothermia, a preliminary report stated.

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