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    POLAR RESEARCHERS CAN BE EVACUATED WITHIN A WEEK

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    MOSCOW, March 4, 2004 / RIA Novosti /. Russian polar researchers on the SP-32 drifting research station, which is in distress in the Arctic Ocean now, can be evacuated from the station within a week. RIA Novosti was informed of this Thursday by Vladimir Sokolov, leader of the Arctic expedition and chief of the SP-32 research program.

    "Last night the station found itself in an ice pressure zone; as a result a wave of ice hummocks crashed down on living and service premises. The people have not been hurt, and they have a place to live in and enough food and fuel," Sokolov said.

    However, in his words, the station lost its main power source which is necessary for carrying out research. For this reason, the further functioning of the station is inexpedient.

    It is expected that the researchers of the station and its equipment will be evacuated within a week, Sokolov said.

    At present, there are 12 researchers on the SP-32 station. Earlier it was planned to close it on March 20.

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