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11 killed in avalanche in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district

On Saturday, Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius while the ski resort of Gulmarg shivered at minus 9.4 degrees.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2018 20:29 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Avalanche,Kupwara district,Kashmir avalanche
A view of snow covered mountains of Kashmir valley which caused due to recent heavy snowfall,in Srinagar.(PTI File Photo)

Eleven people, including a two-year-old child and an engineer of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), were killed as an avalanche hit north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday evening, officials said on Saturday.

In one incident the avalanche swept away twelve people -- including seven in a passenger vehicle -- while at another the BRO official MP Singh was hit while on duty on Friday evening, a senior police officer said. Both the incidents occurred near the Sadhna Top area of the district.

“The search operation concluded Saturday evening and we have recovered ten bodies. A little girl, around two-year-old girl, is among the dead,” SHO police station Kralpora, Waseem Ahmad, said.

Of those affected by the avalanche in the area, two people were saved. Led by the police and the army, locals also helped in the massive search operation in the snow-lined hilly terrain, officials said.

“A passenger was pulled out of the snow in the early hours of Saturday morning, while a child was rescued soon after the accident last evening. The driver of a passenger vehicle affected by the avalanche had escaped unhurt,” Kupwara deputy commissioner Khalid Jahangir told Hindustan Times.

Ghulam Nabi Bhat (45) and the seven-year-old rescued child are both undergoing treatment and their condition is said to be stable, officials added.

Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief and sorrow over the deaths and directed the Kupwara district administration to ensure all possible medical assistance to the injured in the accident.

The state government announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed and a compensation of Rs 12,600 each to two other people who were injured condition in the accident, an official spokesperson said.

Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation Reconstruction and Floriculture Javaid Mustafa Mir announced the compensation under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for the victims’ families.

Since December 21, Kashmir has been experiencing the Chilai Kalan -- the 40-day harshest period of winter in the region marked by frequent snowfall. On Friday, there was snowfall in the upper reaches while the entire valley shivered under sub-zero temperatures.

On Saturday, Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius while the ski resort of Gulmarg shivered at minus 9.4 degrees. Leh recorded a low of 16.6 degrees.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jan 06, 2018 19:03 IST