Iran: At least 12 climbers killed after heavy snowfall

Heavy snow and winds in several parts of Iran in the past few days have closed many roads and disrupted transport.

A general view shows the Tochal ski resort, in north of Tehran, Iran December 12, 2019 [File: Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA via Reuters]

Iranian rescue workers ended their search for survivors on Sunday following a series of avalanches that killed 12 people in a mountainous area north of the capital, state TV reported.

The avalanches struck in four different areas on Friday following strong winds and snowfall a day earlier.

State TV aired footage showing emergency crews using a helicopter to search for the missing. Iran’s Red Crescent Society also released photos of rescue workers unloading body bags from a helicopter Saturday.

The report said 11 people were found dead, and one died after being transferred to a hospital. It said rescue teams found 14 missing people during the operation.

Tehran lies at the foot of the Alborz mountain range which has several ski resorts.

A screen grab from footage broadcast on Iranian state TV IRIB on December 26, 2020, shows a rescue operation after several climbers were found dead [IRIB/ AFP]

Separately, Iranian maritime authorities were searching for the seven crew members of an Iranian transport vessel that capsized in rough Gulf waters on Friday, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

“We are trying to find the missing by mobilising all our facilities and forces, and informing passing vessels and the naval search and rescue centres of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan,” Esmail Makkizadeh, deputy head of Iran’s regional maritime body, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

Source: News Agencies