#Turkey in less than two weeks:
– Powerful quake kills 41, injuring more than 1,000 in eastern #Elazig
– 8 Turkish military personnel killed in Syria
– Two avalanches kill at least 33 in eastern #Van
– #Pegasus Airlines flight skids off runway, injuring 52
— Ilgin Karlidag (@ilginkarl) February 5, 2020
About 300 rescue workers were at the site. 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.
More than 50 people were believed to be trapped in vehicles in the area following the incident on Wednesday.
Pictures from the scene showed people being carried away on stretchers. Footage also showed dozens of people using shovels in an attempt to reach victims.
Speaking at a ceremony in Turkey’s central Kirikkale province, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that at least 33 people had died in the second disaster.
“May they rest in peace,” he said, adding: “Unfortunately, avalanches [and] landslides pose risks.”
The latest figures bring the death toll from the two incidents to 38.
The governor said rescue efforts continued despite the difficult winter conditions causing transport problems, with TV images showing more heavy snow which continued to fall on the mountainside by the Turkish avalanche.
Officials said 30 people had been found alive and taken to hospital.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca warned the number of casualties could rise further.
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. Earlier a plane crashed in Istanbul and split in half.