An avalanche in northeast Turkey has killed 10 people. The slide swept down the mountain near the winter resort of Zigana hitting a team of 17 hikers Sunday morning (1/ 25), approximately 9:15 am British time,

The 17 members of the Turkish hiking and mountaineering club were swept more than 1600 feet down the 7200-foot Mount Zigana. Rescue teams, made up of locals and the military, worked throughout the afternoon with the aid of shovels and sniffer dogs to retrieve the 10 bodies and seven survivors, two of whom are now in hospital and the other five who escaped unhurt.

The group belonged to a climbing club based in the neighbouring Black Sea Province of Trabzon. One of the survivors, 61-year-old Kasim Keles, told the Associated Press: "It must have been 15 or 20 minutes after we set off on our walk. We were walking along a single line. I was toward the middle of the line. We looked up and there was nowhere to run. The snow took us and dragged us along." Keles was saved by a fellow hiker who dug him out of the snow.

Speculating about the cause of the avalanche, one local official told CNN Turk television that the temperature in the region had been higher than the seasonal average in recent days.