Seven soldiers have died and more than 80 are missing after an avalanche struck an army training camp in Gulmarg, 70 Km from Srinagar. Among the dead is one officer and six soldiers, while more than 15 have been moved to hospital with injuries. At least 70 soldiers have been rescued from the area so far, and the death toll is likely to rise.
Srinagar based spokesman of 15th Corps, Lt Col J S Brar said that the training camp comprised of more than 450 soldiers of all ranks, who were present in the area, and they are trying to ascertain the actual number of personnel who are either missing or trapped.
“It is snowing very heavily in the area and our rescue teams are on the job,” Brar added.
According to Javed Bakshi, Chief Executive officer of the Gulmarg Development Authority, more than 150 soldiers of the Gulmarg based High Altitude Warfare School had left for a routine training mission and were on the face of the ridge when the avalanche stuck at around 11 am.
“The camp area has been completely destroyed by the snow and both army and civil rescue teams are working in harsh conditions to rescue the trapped jawans. We have so far recovered seven dead bodies including that of one officer of the rank of Captain” added Bakhshi, who is present on the spot.
Gulmarg has received heavy snow fall during the last 48 hours and Khilanmarg area, where this avalanche stuck, had received more than 7 feet of snow.