23 killed in Turkey avalanche



At least 23 people were killed Wednesday in an avalanche in eastern Turkey during a search and rescue mission after a similar incident the day before, local officials said.
The bodies of 14 rescue workers and nine civilians were discovered at the scene in Van province, where they had been helping uncover a minibus buried by an avalanche late Tuesday, said governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez according to state news agency Anadolu.
Five people travelling in the minibus were killed, taking the overall toll to 28. The governor said rescue efforts continued despite the difficult winter conditions causing transport problems, with TV images showing heavy snow continued to fall on the mountainside.
Officials said 30 people had been found alive and taken to hospital. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned the number of casualties could rise.
The government’s disaster agency AFAD sent dozens of rescue workers after the first avalanche while gendarmerie officers and firefighters provided assistance.
Local media reported that residents in nearby areas also joined the rescue efforts.—AP

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