Snowfall claims 11 lives across JK
Several people rescued, as many others left injured
Srinagar: At least 11 people died due to snow slides and shooting stones across Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours, official sources said. They said that several people were left injured during these incidents.
Seven bodies were recovered while as three persons were rescued alive on Friday from the snow avalanche site near Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway in south Kashmir.
Official sources said that a snow avalanche hit a police post at Jawahar Tunnel on Thursday following a heavy snowfall in the area.
“Ten people including six policemen, two fire service personnel and two prisoners — were buried alive under several feet of snow,” they said.
“All efforts are being made to evacuate the trapped persons and rescue operation is still continuing,” a senior police officer said.
District Development Commissioner Anantnag, Muhammad YounisMallik said that seven dead bodies were recovered while three persons were rescued alive in the rescue operation since last evening at Jawahar Tunnel.
He said that the identity of the deceased persons is being ascertained, adding that the rescue operation is still going on at the Jawahar tunnel.
Pertinently, the rescue teams faced lot of difficulty in reaching the avalanche site Friday morning due to strong winds and accumulation of snow, they said.
The avalanche had hit the north portal of Jawahar Tunnel on the Qazigund side in Kulgam district on Thursday evening.
While 10 policemen posted at the police post near the tunnel managed to reach safety before the avalanche struck, 10 other policemen were believed to be trapped.
Meanwhile, a couple died after getting caught under an avalanche but the rescue teams managed to pull out their two children alive in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, police said Friday.
A snow slide struck the house of Bashir Ahmad Qureshi at Sonabrari-Magam in Kokernag area of the district on Thursday evening, a police official said.
He said all the four members of the family were trapped under the snow slide and a rescue operation was launched immediately.
“The rescuers were able to pull out the two children alive from the snow but their parents could not be saved,” the official said.
He said bodies of Qureshi and his wife were retrieved later.
In another incident two persons including an assistant accounts officer (AAO) were killed in a landslide on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in Ramban district.
The victims were crossing a landslide zone on foot in Maroog area, when landslide suddenly hit them, they said.
The deceased have been identified as AAO PramodMankotia, resident of Himachal Pradesh, and SanjitLakara of West Bengal.
The bodies have been shifted to district hospital Ramban for further formalities, the official added.
Two persons identified as Raj Kumar and Rajesh Saproowere injured during the incident.
Heavy snowfall across Kashmir over the past two days has triggered avalanches at many places in the hilly areas of the valley.
The authorities have issued an avalanche warning for 16 of the 22 districts in the state.
Kashmir Valley has been witnessing heavy snowfall since Wednesday with Kulgam District in south Kashmir receiving maximum precipitation in the past 24 hours. Some places in the district have received as much as five feet of snow, officials said.