Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A second avalanche in eastern Turkey killed nearly two dozen rescue workers on Wednesday as they searched for two missing persons from another snow slide hours earlier, officials said.
Turkish authorities said 23 members of the rescue team died in the slide in Van province. The first avalanche Tuesday killed at least five people riding in a van on a mountain road. Nine others are missing.
Interior minister Suleyman Soylut said it's not known how many people are now missing because it was not clear how many people joined in the search team.
"[The rescuers] were engulfed in an avalanche while looking for those trapped under snow this morning," Van Gov. Mehmet Emin Bilmez said.
Bilmez said about 25 of the search team were rescued and hospitalized. Officials said fog and heavy snow slowed rescue efforts.
Survivors of the second slide included the provincial head of the disaster management agency and a former adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, officials said.
About 300 emergency personnel were involved in the initial rescue effort.