At least 11 climbers dead in blizzards and avalanche on Iranian mountain
The Tochal Mountain near Tehran, Iran - ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock
At least 11 hikers died in the mountain range north of Tehran over the weekend when a series of avalanches were triggered by blizzards and heavy snowfalls, Iranian rescue group Red Crescent said.
Rescue efforts, which began on Friday when the first two deaths were reported, intensified over the weekend as more were reported missing.
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State television broadcast footage of the helicopter rescue mission looking for bodies and survivors on the peaks of Tochal and Kolakchal. and Red Crescent workers carrying a body on a stretcher along a snow-covered mountainside.
Ten people were killed on the mountain and one died in the hospital after being rescued. Mehdi Valipour, head of emergency operations in the Red Crescent of Iran, was quoted by the state broadcaster IRIB.
Tehran lies at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, a popular weekend attraction for hiking and climbing. According to state television, the avalanches hit four different areas.
The Iranian Red Crescent said rescue efforts had been hampered by the bad weather.
Iranian media reported on Friday that an estimated more than 100 people were stuck in the avalanche.
Shahin Fathi, the executive director of the Red Crescent, told BBC Persian that the families were still reporting seven missing as of Saturday.
"We may still have injuries in the Kolakchal area but there are no accurate statistics," Fathi said on Sunday.
The Meteorological Channel for Mountaineers in Telegram warned people in Tehran not to go into the mountains because of the possibility of an avalanche in Alborz.
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