Russian drivers dice with death as ice thaws on frozen highway

That sinking feeling: Russian drivers dice with death as ice starts to thaw on frozen highway across Siberian river

  • Driver filmed desperately trying to cross the highway on Lena River in Russia 
  • Footage shows driver struggling through melting ice and gushing water  
  • In the end driver has to be towed across the road almost completely submerged 

Remarkable footage shows Russian drivers dicing with death on one of the world’s most dangerous roads – across a frozen river. 

A driver in a Lada car was filmed as he desperately tried to make his way across the the frozen Lena River in Yakutia as the ice began to thaw. 

The ‘road’ of solid ice is only open in winter and early spring in a bid to avoid anyone cracking the ice and falling into the freezing depths below, which happens to a number of drivers every year.  

Last year a driver and three passengers fell through the ice but managed to escape before freezing to death.  

A driver in a Lada car was filmed as he desperately tried to make his way across the makeshift highway on the frozen Lena River in Yakutia

The car had to be towed out of the freezing water while the ice continued to melt rapidly

Footage shows the driver struggling through the melting ice as water gushes down the road. 

In the end the driver has to be towed across the road and footage shows the car almost entirely submerged by water.  

The extraordinary highway on the frozen river connects regional capital Yakutsk – the world’s coldest city whose temperatures reach a bone-chilling -64C – and Olyokminsk, a distance of some 400 miles.

The ice roads are typically open between November and April when the temperatures are low enough to ensure the river is fully frozen.  


Footage shows the driver struggling through the melting ice as water gushes down the road

There is no all year round road between these locations and in summer locals use boats.

A local social media campaign has started for a proper highway.

‘Our district is one of the most inaccessible,’ says a social media post. ‘We have been fighting for a road for dozens of years, all to no avail.’

The ‘road’ of solid ice is only open in winter and early spring in a bid to avoid anyone cracking the ice and falling into the freezing depths below, which happens to a number of drivers every year

There has been a proposal for a £1billion crossing over the river which has been constantly pushed back and delayed for almost 20 years, and still hasn’t received official approval.  

In Siberia the winter ice roads are crucial to supplying some of the world’s remotest villages and towns.

A regional lawmaker, Vladimir Prokopyev, believes that a bridge over the river is the only reasonable solution but he admits that the area doesn’t have the money to build it without Kremlin financing.  

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