TEHRAN: At least 10 climbers have died and several more are missing in mountains north of Iran’s capital Tehran after heavy snowfall, state media reported.
Seven crew members of a ship are also missing after storms in the region. 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, while the number reported as missing has increased as concerned families contact the authorities.
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 Iran’s state broadcaster.
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.
State TV showed 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.
“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.