Ten climbers killed in Iran after heavy snowfall

State media says 10 climbers killed and several others missing after heavy snowfall in mountains north of Tehran.

At least 10 climbers have died and several more were missing in mountains north of Iran’s capital Tehran after heavy snowfall, state media reported on Saturday, and seven crew members of a ship were also missing after storms in the Gulf.

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

Several climbers remain unaccounted for since Friday when two deaths were reported and the number reported as missing has increased as concerned families contact the authorities, state television said.

Nine people had been killed on the mountain and one died in hospital after being rescued, Mehdi Valipour, head of emergency operations at Iran’s Red Crescent, was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.

At least seven climbers were still unaccounted for on three popular trails, Valipour said earlier.

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]

State TV broadcast footage of a helicopter rescue operation on the Tochal and Kolakchal peaks of the Alborz mountain range, showing Red Crescent personnel carrying a body on a stretcher along a snowy mountainside.

A member of the Red Crescent team said the rescue mission was complicated by “bad weather and snow”.

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.

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