5 soldiers trapped under snow rescued

5 soldiers trapped under snow rescued
Two days after 14 soldiers were killed in two avalanches, five troopers – who went missing after a snow track collapsed in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district – were rescued on Saturday. Snow tracks are pathways carved out through the snow to facilitate the movement of people and vehicles.

Army spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said the soldiers were on patrol near a camp in Machhal sector along the Line of Control (LoC).  “A rescue operation was started immediately, despite the hostile weather. The soldiers are undergoing treatment,” he said. On Wednesday night, two avalanches buried a military post and swept away a patrol in Gurez sector near LoC, burying 21 soldiers, seven of whom were rescued. The bodies of 14 others were recovered in two days.

Earlier, four members of a family and an army officer were killed in other avalanches in north Kashmir on Wednesday. Kashmir has been witnessing one of the most severe winters in recent years. The state has been experiencing heavy snowfall across the region for the past five days. Authorities have issued a high danger avalanche warning and already advised residents in mountainous areas not to venture out.

Meanwhile, the Valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the fifth consecutive day on Saturday, as the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway continued to remain closed for the fifth consecutive day on Saturday.

Officials said the road is closed because of heavy landslides and fresh snowfall at various places. “Efforts are on to ensure its early re-opening, but due to fresh snowfall, the chances of the road opening on Sunday look bleak,” an official said. The fresh snowfall also affected air traffic at the Srinagar airport as bad weather forced cancellation of nearly eight flights.

“Some morning flights operated, but all the eight flights scheduled in the afternoon were cancelled due to bad weather,” the official said. The air services had resumed at Srinagar on Friday after remaining suspended for three days.
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