At least 16 rescue workers were killed by an avalanche in Turkey today as searched for two people missing in an earlier landslide that left five dead.
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 police officers, three government guards and a firefighter were among the dead in today’s avalanche and at least 15 others are buried under the snow, local mayor Meki Arvas said.
Video from the scene showed at least three overturned vehicles at the bottom of a hill during a snow storm.
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.
Fog, heavy snow and strong winds were hampering the rescue efforts.
Rescuers search for avalanche victims near Bahcesaray in Turkey today where a second natural disaster killed 16 emergency workers on Wednesday
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that 11 rescuers’ bodies were recovered from the mass of snow on the steep slope. They included eight military police officers and three government-paid village guards. Gov. Mehmet Emin Bilmez later said a firefighter was also killed.
Emergency teams were searching for up to 15 colleagues still buried under the snow, including members from the government’s disaster response agency and its medical rescue team.
Some 30 emergency workers were either rescued or escaped from under the snow and were hospitalized Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said. There was no further information on their conditions.
Sixteen rescue workers were killed by an avalanche in Turkey today as they went to find people trapped by an earlier avalanche
The first avalanche last night buried a snow-clearing vehicle and a minibus, killing five people
Tuesday night’s first avalanche had buried a snow-clearing vehicle and a minibus, killing five people and leaving two others missing.
The vehicle’s operator and seven passengers escaped alive.
Rescue workers were today searching for those two missing people, hampered by fog and snow, when they were hit by the second avalanche.
Meki Arvas, mayor of Bahcesaray, said eight rescuers’ bodies were recovered from the mass of snow on the steep slope.
Turkish soldiers and locals try to rescue people trapped under the second avalanche today
Hundreds of people are said to be helping with the rescue efforts after the second avalanche
The minibus operator, Bahattin Karagulle, was trapped beneath the snow for some 25 minutes before he managed to break a window and escape yesterday.
The state-run Anadolu agency quoted him as saying that he walked towards a village before he was picked up by a vehicle and managed to seek help.
Search and rescue workers dig to find buried vehicles buried in the first avalanche yesterday
Rescue workers desperately search for survivors after last night’s avalanche in Turkey
A snow-clearing vehicle and a minibus were buried under snow after last night’s avalanche