Avalanches in Turkey Leave at Least 28 Dead and Many Missing

 Avalanches in Turkey Leave at Least 28 Dead and Many Missing


Two avalanches in eastern Turkey have killed at least 28 people, as rescuers searching for survivors of the first slide were buried hours later by the second.

The first avalanche, on Tuesday, barreled into a passenger van, sweeping it off a road and down a steep slope in a mountainous area of Van Province. At least five of the 14 people inside were killed, Turkish officials said.

As dozens of rescuers looked early Wednesday for victims still buried under the snow, another avalanche struck, killing at least 23 people — eight soldiers, three village guards, three firefighters, and nine civilians who joined the rescue efforts — said Mehmet Emin Bilmez, the governor of Van Province.

The Turkish interior minister, Suleyman Soylut said it was not clear how many people were missing because officials did not know how many civilians had joined the rescue effort.

About 30 survivors have been pulled from the snow, according to Turkish news reports. Among them were the provincial head of the disaster management agency and a former adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Additional rescue teams were deployed to the region, which is known for rough winter conditions.

Mr. Bilmez, the governor of Van Province, told the semiofficial Anadolu Agency that more avalanches were possible.



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