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Turkey: 8 rescue workers killed, 20 missing in 2nd avalanche

Turkey: 8 rescue workers killed, 20 missing in 2nd avalanche”

He told Ihlas News Agency from hospital that some 200 people were working in the rescue operation but many were out of the immediate area when the second avalanche hit today.

Around noon Wednesday, the rescue team was hit by the second avalanche, bringing the death toll to 38 overall. Fourteen rescuers are among the 31 killed, the agency said. They included eight military police officers, three government-paid village guards, three firefighters and nine volunteers.

A score of Turkish search and rescue team members who were engulfed by snow were rescued in a short while.

A local governor said more than 30 emergency workers were rescued from under the snow or climbed out themselves Wednesday and were hospitalized. He did not provide a figure.

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

"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. No further information on their health status were provided.

Osman Ucar, head of AFAD's Van office, was hospitalised after being caught in the avalanche.

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

The minibus operator, Bahattin Karagulle, was trapped beneath the snow for some 25 minutes before he managed to break a window and escape yesterday. He walked toward a village to get help before being picked up by a passing vehicle.



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