Ten climbers killed in avalanche at Turkish ski resort

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ten climbers at a ski resort in Zigana, Turkey have died in an avalanche. They were part of a group of seventeen from the nearby province of Trabzon. The avalanche occurred at 11:15 local time (9:15 UTC) yesterday on Mount Zigana in the Gumushane region of Turkey near the Black Sea coast. Winter sports are increasing in popularity across Turkey, as it is mountainous.

Location of Zigana in Turkey

The climbers were at a height of 7,260ft (2,200m) while crossing a deep valley, when the snow hit them. As search teams and locals arrived, they managed to pull seven climbers free from the snow; at least two were taken to hospital, one of which died in hospital. They were walking in a single-file line, as it hit them. One of the survivors made a hole with their arms, so they could breathe. The block of snow dragged them 1,000 metres into a valley as the avalanche traveled down the mountain.

The avalanche may have caused by rising temperatures in the area. A gun-shot was also considered as an outside possibility after some witnesses said they heard one.

This occurred as climbers were killed in Scotland after an avalanche, as well another seven deaths across the French Alps.


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