Five Iranians dead in avalanche on Turkish border

January 26, 2021 - 21:15

TEHRAN – Five Iranian nationals stuck in an avalanche on the border with Turkey have unfortunately lost their lives, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday, adding that efforts are underway to bring their bodies back home.

In a statement on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the bodies of the victims have been recovered and will be transferred to Iran after the necessary arrangements are made.

“Based on the details received from relevant organizations, following an avalanche when five Iranian koolbars went missing on the Iran-Turkey border, the [Iranian] Foreign Ministry made phone contacts and met our country’s consul general in Erzurum, and the Contingency Headquarters in the [Iranian] West Azerbaijan Province followed up on the issue,” he said.

“Iran sent two memos to Turkish officials, one from Iran’s embassy in Ankara and the other from the general consular department to the Turkish embassy in Tehran, requesting permission for a search team from the Iranian Red Crescent Society to be sent to the site of the incident and [requesting] Turkish forces cooperate with them to find the bodies of the missing Iranians,” the spokesman added.

Khatibzadeh noted that these efforts will continue until their bodies are transferred to Iran.

“Border officials have always urged Iranian nationals to avoid illegally crossing the border, so that, given the conditions in the area, they will not run into problems similar to the one these five fellow countrymen faced,” he continued.

Khatibzadeh also expressed his gratitude to border authorities and the Turkish Red Crescent Society for cooperating to establish the fate of those five Iranians.