8 feared dead in Kashmir, 2 rescued


Snow Avalanche Agencies, Srinagar At least eight people are feared dead while two have been rescued on Friday after a snow avalanche hit a border area in Tanghdar sector in frontier Kashmir district of Kupwara. Meanwhile, Minister for Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRRR), Javaid Mustafa Mir, has directed that movement of traffic should be restricted, on vulnerable roads, in the event of adverse weather predictions. “A massive rescue operation has been launched by police and Army despite snowing and very poor visibility,” a police official told UNI over phone from Kupwara. Reports said a six-year-old child and the driver of the vehicle, who were found alive in the area, had been rushed to hospital. He said the avalanche hit an area near Sadhna Top in Kupwara between 1515 hrs to 15:30 hrs.“A vehicle, which had seven to eight people onboard and two people who were on foot, were swept away by the avalanche. The vehicle was on way to Karnah from Kupwara when the incident took place, he said. “Search and rescue teams, comprising of state police and Army, have launched an operation to trace the missing people,” he said, adding chances of survival of any of the eight people, swept away in the avalanche, are extremely bleak. It was snowing besides darkness in the area, the police officer said. Meanwhile, Mr Mir asked Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan to monitor the joint rescue operations launched by Army, Police and SDRF to locate the survivors of the vehicle, that came under an avalanche at Khoni Nalla, near Sadhna Top enroute to Karnah. He directed that proper medical aid be provided to the two injured persons, who got miraculously saved and are recouping at District Hospital Kupwara. Recently Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, has issued an avalanche warning in north and central Kashmir.