Avalanche: 5 rescued soldiers die

They were trapped in Machhil sector of Valley

Avalanche: 5 rescued soldiers die
Five soldiers, who were trapped under snow tracks and later rescued in Machhil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on January 28, succumbed to their injuries at a hospital here on Monday. With this, the toll of armymen killed in avalanches in Kashmir has risen to 20 in less than a week. Snow tracks are pathways carved out through snow to facilitate movement of men and vehicles.

“The five soldiers who had been trapped under snow after a track in Machhil sector caved in on January 28 and subsequently rescued after a gruelling day-long mission, were on Monday evacuated to Srinagar, despite persistent poor weather conditions, for specialist medical care,” an army spokesman said. Unfortunately, all of them succumbed to their injuries, he said.

“The mortal remains of 14 soldiers who were buried under an avalanche earlier were brought to Srinagar today (Monday) in Air Force helicopters,” the spokesman said. The inclement weather was hampering the army’s efforts to airlift the mortal remains of the 14 soldiers who died in Gurez sector of Bandipora district on January 25, he said. Twenty soldiers, including an officer, died in avalanches in Kashmir over the past six days.

Five civilians also died in similar incidents in the Valley. Kashmir has witnessed one of the most severe winters in recent years. The Valley has witnessed heavy snowfall three times in January. Authorities have issued high-danger avalanche warning and already advised residents in mountainous areas not to venture out.

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