Image: Flooding in Turkey
Ibrahim Usta  /  AP
People try to save their belongings two days after flash floods in Ikitelli, Istanbul, Turkey, on Friday. Flash floods gushed across a major highway and a commercial district in Istanbul Wednesday, killing 31 people.
updated 9/12/2009 3:39:11 PM ET 2009-09-12T19:39:11

Heavy downpours led to new flash floods in northwestern Turkey, trapping hundreds of workers at some tile factories. At least five workers were reported missing, authorities say.

Military helicopters were trying to evacuate workers Saturday from inundated factories near the town of Kumbag, said Gov. Zubeyir Kemelek of Tekirdag province. ATV television reported the Turkish military was using tanks in the rescue effort.

The Anatolia news agency reported five workers remained missing.

The heaviest rains in eight decades fueled flash floods that have killed at least 31 people in Turkey since Monday. Nine other people were missing from floods earlier this week.

Officials estimate the damage in Istanbul and surrounding areas will cost more than $100 million.

Waves of muddy waters pulling cars, trees and debris crashed into homes and buildings on Wednesday as people were getting up to break their fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

The bodies of seven women were discovered in Bagcilar, a working-class suburb of Istanbul, on Wednesday. They had drowned in a minibus that was taking them to jobs at a textile factory.

Istanbul's ancient district of Sultanahmet, with its mosques, the palaces of the waterfront and Beyoglu's area of narrow streets were largely unaffected.

The mayor of the capital Ankara has warned people in low-lying areas to be vigilant.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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