Eight rescue workers are killed and 20 others are buried in avalanche

Elias Hubbard
February 5, 2020

At least 21 people were killed and dozens others buried under an avalanche in Turkey's Van province, according to local media reports on Wednesday. That's the word from a local mayor.

That avalanche, in which two people remain missing, buried a minibus and a vehicle that was being used to clear snow.

The second disaster struck today as 300 emergency workers were searching for the two missing victims from last night's first avalanche near Bahcesehir.

Eight people were rescued from that avalanche and the second snowslide occurred as teams were searching for two others.

"I was halfway buried in snow", he said. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said 30 them were taken to hospital.

According to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, the operator of the snow-clearing vehicle, Bahattin Karagulle, was trapped under the snow mass for 25 minutes before he managed to break a window and ask for a help at a nearby village.

A video from the scene showed at least three overturned vehicles at the base of a hill during a snowstorm, the Associated Press reported.

Some rescuers were climbing a steep incline to get away from the mass of snow while others dug frantically into the snow with shovels and pick-axes.

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.

"Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) members were engulfed in an avalanche while looking for those trapped under snow this morning", said Bilmez.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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