Kupwara avalanche: Death toll reaches 11

SRINAGAR: At least eleven dead bodies have been recovered so far in the rescue operations that was launched after two vehicles came under multiple snow avalanches at Khoni Nallah near Sadhna Top in Tangdar sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Friday evening.
In the first incident, two beacon officials travelling in a vehicle came under a snow avalanche adjacent to Sadhna top. While one of them was injured, a sector commander of Beacon was swept away, official sources said.
Sources identify the beacon officer as MP Singh of 109 RCC. However, army and police launched a rescue operation and the beacon officer, MP Singh of 109 RCC, was found under the snow and was straight away taken to MI (a mini military hospital) room Chowkibal. The doctors who attended upon him declared Singh as brought dead, an army official said.
Another avalanche hit, a Sumo vehicle bearing registration number JK09A- 3249 and all the seven passengers including four pedestrians were buried under snow near Khoni Nallah at Sadhna Top.
Following the incident, men and machinery were put into motion to rescue the missing persons.
The driver of vehicle JK09-A 3249 Zahoor Ahmad Khan, son of Maqsood Ahmad Khan of Chetarkote, Karnah, and an 8- year-old boy, Suliman, both residents of Karnah tehsil, were rescued immediately after the mishap occurred around 3.30 PM Friday.
The rescue operations were launched jointly by police, army, State Disaster Response Force along with the local volunteers.
Meanwhile, in a miraculous escape, a 46-year-old person was found alive today at around 3:00 am after remaining under the huge mass of snow for more than 12 hours.
The number of those missing is not clear yet. “We can only say [how many people are missing] after the recoveries are done,” Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Khalid Jehangir said, adding that they were unlikely to find any more bodies.
He appreciated the role of local volunteers saying being locals, they know the terrain of the area and worked hard with the joint rescue team.
“Without the local volunteers, it was quite impossible to recover the bodies in the record time keeping in view the tough terrain and bad weather,” he added.
Rescue operations were still underway when this report was filed.




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