Avalanche Kills 10 Hikers in TurkeyAnother Snow Slide Kills 3 in Scotland
By SUZAN FRASER, AP
posted: 4 HOURS 52 MINUTES AGOcomments: 107filed under: World NewsPrintShareText SizeAAAANKARA, Turkey (Jan. 25) - An avalanche slammed into a group of Turkish hikers on a trip to a remote mountain plateau on Sunday, dragging them more than 1,640 feet into a valley and fatally burying 10.
The members of a skiing and mountaineering club were taking part in an annual winter sports celebration on 7,200-foot Mount Zigana. Seventeen were hiking single-file when the avalanche swept into them.
Killer AvalanchesZafer Sel, Anatolia / AP9 photos An avalanche roared down a mountain in Turkey on Sunday, dragging a group of hikers down into a valley and burying 10 of them in a snowy grave. Here, rescue workers coordinate efforts as the bodies of some victims lie in the background on Mount Zigana in northeastern Turkey.(Note: Please disable your pop-up blocker)
Also See: Avalanche Kills 3 Hikers in Scotland
"We looked up and there was nowhere to run. The snow took us and dragged us along," 61-year-old Kasim Keles told reporters from his hospital bed.
"The snow dragged me down into a valley before it stopped," Keles said. "My right hand was stuck beneath me, with my left hand I cleared my face; I began to breathe and called for help."
A fellow hiker who escaped unharmed dug Keles out of the snow by hand.
Faruk Ozak, Turkey's minister in charge of public works and housing who visited the site, said 10 hikers died on the mountain. Two of the hikers were hospitalized, while five walked away unharmed, he said.
The Turkish avalanche occurred a day after three people were killed in an avalanche on a mountain in the Scottish Highlands.
In Turkey, military and private mountain rescue teams assisted by sniffer dogs carried out a search in case others were trapped beneath the snow. Rescue workers could be seen probing with long rods and digging through several feet of snow with shovels until sunset, when the search was called off for the day.
Television footage showed soldiers and villagers struggling through the snow to carry a person lying on a makeshift stretcher.
"We were walking and before we realized what was going on, the avalanche came on us," Ural Ayar, one of the survivors, told NTV television by telephone. "The snow dragged our friends along and unfortunately they were buried."
The Zigana festival was meant to attract skiers to the small, mainly cross-country ski resort some 60 miles from the Black Sea coast. It was not clear what triggered the avalanche. There had been no warning of a possible snow slide.
Mags and winter mountain hikers, please be careful out there and be safe. Not much you can do in that situation. Prayers go out to those who were lost and their families.
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