Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

At least 28 dead following two avalanches in eastern Turkey

At least 23 people have died following an avalanche in eastern Turkey on Wednesday, February 5, which was the second to hit the area in less than 24 hours.

A team of rescue workers sent to find two people missing in the first avalanche, which occurred late on Tuesday, was wiped out when the snow slide slammed into a mountain road at around noon on Wednesday.

The death toll from both incidents has now reached at least 28, officials have said.

When the second avalanche took place, some 300 emergency service workers were on a road near the mountain-surrounded town of Bahcesaray in Van province, which borders Iran, to search for victims of Tuesday's disaster.

Emergency service members dig in the snow around at least three overturned vehicles (DHA via AP)

Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez said 23 rescuers' bodies were recovered from the mass of snow on the steep slope.

They included eight military police officers, three government-paid village guards, three firefighters and nine volunteers.

Emergency teams were searching for other colleagues who may still be buried under the snow, Mr Bilmez said.

Some 30 emergency workers were either rescued or escaped from under the snow and were taken to hospital, the Interior Ministry said.

Video from the scene showed at least three overturned vehicles at the bottom of a hill during a snow storm.

Emergency service members work in the snow around overturned vehicles, near the town of Bahcesehir, in Van province, eastern Turkey (Yilmaz Sonmez/IHA via AP)

Some rescuers were climbing a steep incline to get out of the mass of snow while others dug frantically into the snow with shovels and pickaxes.

Fog, heavy snow and strong winds were hampering the rescue efforts.

The first avalanche buried a snow-clearing vehicle and a minibus.

The vehicle's operator and seven passengers escaped alive.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the operator, Bahattin Karagulle, was trapped beneath the snow for 25 minutes before he managed to break a window and escape.

Related Stories
13 Killed in Two Avalanches in Eastern Turkey
An avalanche slammed into a mountain road in eastern Turkey on Wednesday, wiping out a huge team of rescue workers…
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Turkey avalanche: At least 28 dead after second landslide hits rescue workers
An avalanche has slammed into a mountain road in eastern Turkey, wiping out a huge team of rescue workers sent…
Turkey avalanches: At least 38 people dead and dozens hurt
Around 300 rescue workers are on the site of a mountain in Turkey where two avalanches have struck
Turkey avalanche: At least 33 rescue workers killed and dozens buried under snow
Search teams were looking for missing people following earlier avalanche when they were struck by second snow slip
Turkey avalanche: At least 21 killed after rescue workers are buried under snow
More than 50 people were trapped after a minibus was left stuck under the snow in Bahcesaray, eastern Turkey, in…
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Avalanches kill nearly 40 in eastern Turkey
Ankara (AFP) - At least 33 people were killed in eastern Turkey Wednesday by a second avalanche which buried a…