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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

4 soldiers killed as avalanches hit Jammu and Kashmir

An avalanche and blizzard struck the army camp and a patrol in Tanghdar and Gurez sectors on the LoC, which left three soldiers dead in Tanghdar and one in Gurez, the Army said on Tuesday. One soldier was rescued in Tanghdar.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2019 01:38 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
A view of snow covered roofs of the residential houses after fresh snowfall in Srinagar on Thursday.
A view of snow covered roofs of the residential houses after fresh snowfall in Srinagar on Thursday.(ANI Photo)
         

Four soldiers were killed in north Kashmir’s Tanghdar and Gurez sectors when two avalanches hit the army camps set up near the forward posts.

Six soldiers and two porters were killed in two different avalanche incidents in the northern and southern parts of Siachen glacier last month.

The back-to-back incidents were triggered by heavy snowfall in the region.

An avalanche and blizzard struck the army camp and a patrol in Tanghdar and Gurez sectors on the LoC, which left three soldiers dead in Tanghdar and one in Gurez, the Army said on Tuesday. One soldier was rescued in Tanghdar.

“In two separate incidents, an avalanche hit the army post in Tanghdar sector and an army patrol was hit by a blizzard in Gurez sector on December 3. Rescue teams managed to locate and retrieve all personnel from both the spots. Despite best efforts by rescue and medical teams, three army personnel in Tanghdar and one in Gurez succumbed,’’ said Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia.

The incidents took place near Eagle post in Tanghdar and Amar post in Gurez sector, officials said.

On November 30, an Army patrol operating at an altitude of 18,000 feet in the southern part of Siachen was hit by an avalanche, killing two Army soldiers, despite the efforts by Avalanche Rescue Teams (ATRs).

On November 18, eight soldiers operating in the northern part of Siachen glacier at an altitude of 19,000 feet were hit by an avalanche. Soon after the avalanche hit the post, Avalanche Rescue Teams from neighbouring posts began their rescue operations. Although all the eight people were evacuated and taken to the military hospital, six people, including four soldiers and two porters, succumbed to their injuries.

The Siachen Glacier at the height of around 20,000 ft in the Karakoram range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds. Avalanches and landslides are common at the glacier during winters with temperatures often dropping to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

On November 24, a soldier was killed in north Kashmir’s Keran sector after he suffered fatal injures while patrolling when he had a fall due to snowfall.

This year, Kashmir received early spells of snowfall. The upper reaches of the Valley had accumulated more than six feet of snow, a main trigger for avalanches. The Army has been regularly updating the soldiers about avalanches through the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment ( SASE) based in Chandigarh.