Five persons were buried under an avalanche while five others went missing after two trucks, they were travelling in came under an avalanche in Khardung La area of cold desert Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
An official of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) said the avalanche two trucks carrying 10 persons at Khardung La pass at around 7 am. He said the BRO pressed into service its men and machinery to rescue the passengers, who were believed to be trapped under the debris.
The police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel had also reached the spot, he said. “So far, the bodies of five persons have been recovered from the avalanche site, while a search is on for the other missing persons.”
An army spokesperson said the rescue operations are still in progress, however, since the Run Out Zone of the avalanche is approx 1100 metres down the steep hillside the operations may take some time
Khardung La mountain pass, which, at 17,500 feet, is among the world's highest motorable roads. It is located north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.
With Met office forecasting snow across Jammu and Kashmir over the next few days, authorities have sounded an alert asking people to remain indoors and not to venture out in avalanche prone areas.
Meanwhile, governor Satya Pal Malik announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh for the next of the kin of those killed in the avalanche.