At least 21 people dead after avalanche hit eastern Turkey

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At least 21 people have died after an avalanche hit eastern Turkey on Wednesday, the local hospital said, while the Turkish interior minister was quoted as saying many others were still trapped under the snow.

Meki Arvas, mayor of a district in the eastern province of Van, was quoted by broadcaster NTV as saying a team of 300 people had been working to rescue people trapped under an earlier avalanche on Tuesday, when a second snowslide occurred.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said 30 people had been rescued.

Dramatic scenes showed rescuers furiously digging, and struggling through deep snow and lashing winds to remove people from the site.

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