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Army deploys more men, machines to trace soldiers missing after avalanche

The army deployed men with chain saws and drill machines to cut through thick hardened snow to retrieve the soldiers buried in snow mound for least six days, said an official in Kinnaur.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2019 16:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
avalanche,Himachal,Army
Army and ITBP personnel search for missing soldiers at avalanche site near Namgia in Himachal Pradesh on Monday. (ANI)

The Indian Army on Monday deployed more men and machines to trace five of its soldiers who went missing on Wednesday after they were swept in avalanche near Namgia Dogri outpost along the China border in tribal Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Contingents of the Army, Indo-Tibetan border police resumed rescue operations at 7 am.

The army deployed men with chain saws and drill machines to cut through thick hardened snow to retrieve the soldiers buried in snow mound for least six days, said an official in Kinnaur.

Snow and blizzard had hampered rescue operations on Sunday. Weather is cloudy. So search parties are continuing their efforts,” he added.

The Army has deployed specialised teams of mountaineers from Dogra scouts equipped with thermal radars. Sniffer dogs have also been deployed to rescue the missing soldiers.

“With the weather clearing, search operations for remaining five buried persons of the army trapped under an avalanche in Dogri Nullah are progressing with renewed vigour. Specialised rescue dog, rock drills and chain saws have also been deployed into the search operations,” said army spokesman.

On Monday, the army and ITBP deployed nearly 270 men. The track has been partially cleared, he said.

The avalanche was triggered on February 20 when a glacier near Namgia Dogri slid, burying six soldiers of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles when they were on a routine patrol.

One of the troopers, Havildar Rakesh Kumar, 41, was rescued but succumbed to injuries at the civil hospital, Pooh.

Kumar’s body was flown to his village Ghumarpur in Bilaspur district where he was cremated with military and state honors on Friday.

First Published: Feb 25, 2019 16:31 IST