Eight Turkish rescuers killed, dozens missing in avalanche

Cheryl Sanders
February 5, 2020

The second avalanche slammed into a mountain road on Wednesday, killing at least 13 rescue workers and leaving 20 others buried under the snow, a local mayor said. Around midday on Wednesday, the team was struck by the second avalanche. Officials said 26 emergency workers were killed, 53 were injured and others are still buried under the snow.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that 11 rescuers' bodies had been recovered so far, including eight military police officers and three government-paid village guards.

The governor said rescue efforts continued despite the hard winter conditions causing transport problems, with TV images showing heavy snow continued to fall on the mountainside.

Some 30 emergency workers were either pulled out of the heap of snow or escaped themselves and were hospitalized Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said.

Bilmez noted that the condition of nine of the rescued people was critical, while there was still no information on how many people are buried under the avalanche.

At least 31 people, many of them rescuers, have been killed and dozens are feared trapped after two avalanches near Turkey's eastern border with Iran, authorities say. The vehicle's operator and seven passengers escaped alive, according to Reuters.

Rescue workers were today searching for those two missing people, hampered by fog and snow, when they were hit by the second avalanche. He walked toward a village to get help before being picked up by a passing vehicle.

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