One killed, 13 rescued in Kashmir avalanche


Srinagar : A day after 17 soldiers were killed in Gulmarg, another avalanche struck an army border post Tuesday in Tangdhar sector of the Line of Control (LOC) in Kupwara district, killing one. According to officials, 13 people have been rescued so far.

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The calamity occurred around 2.45 a.m.

“Fourteen soldiers were buried under the avalanche. A relief and rescue operation was launched immediately and those trapped were rescued. One jawan who sustained critical injuries later succumbed while others were safely rescued from under the avalanche debris,” a defence spokesman said.

According to another official, rescue operations were hit due to lightning, rain and snow.

“We do not have a clear idea about the situation and how many people are still trapped under snow. There is no radio contact with soldiers at the post and we are trying to re-establish it. Earlier the soldiers at the post were themselves doing the rescue. Now another rescue party is trying to reach them, but they are facing difficulties due to adverse weather conditions,” the official added.

In another incident, seventeen troopers including a captain were killed, and 17 injured when an avalanche trapped a group of trainees of the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) in Gulmarg Monday when the trainees had moved five km away from the school into the Khilanmarg mountains.

After Monday’s incident, Defence Minister A.K. Antony expressed his anguish at the tragic loss of lives of the many army personnel. In a message, he conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

He asked the army and local authorities to provide all possible medical aid to the injured.