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Snow strands 6,100 trucks in the Andes

BUENOS AIRES -- Heavy snow in the Andes left 6,100 trucks stuck yesterday along the main mountain pass between Argentina and Chile, a transportation official said.

The Christ the Redeemer pass, which at its highest point rises almost 12,500 feet above sea level, has been closed to heavy vehicles for four days and snow kept falling yesterday.

"The trucks can't cross because the storm is still going on. We're only allowing through a few cars with chains," said Ernesto Arriaga, spokesman for Argentina's highway department.

"On the Argentine side, there are about 3,300 trucks stuck along the pass, but there are 2,800 others on the Chilean side," he said.

The steep highway between the cities of Mendoza in Argentina and Los Andes in Chile passes beneath Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas.

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