Machil Avalanche: Bad weather halts search operation

SRINAGAR:  Searches for missing soldier who was swept away by an avalanche at Machil sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district was hampered Friday due to inclement weather.

Official sources said that army pressed sniffer dogs in service in a bid to trace the soldier but operation had to be aborted following bad weather in the area.

Two soldiers had gone missing yesterday after an avalanche struck army’s 5 ASSAM (D Company) post in Muthal top in Machil sector.

While body of one soldier Thoumdan Singh (29-years-old) (belt no. 4372029-W) was recovered in serious conditions who later succumbed to injuries in the hospital and another jawan Niak W Lampa Konyak (32 years old) (belt no. 4369289-W is still missing, sources said.

Meanwhile, army claimed to have rescued 23 people in two separate incidents who were trapped due to snow slides and inclement weather on Chowkibal – Tangdhar road near Sadhna pass in frontier Kupwara district last evening.

 Army’s Srinagar based defence spokesman in a statement issued to GNS said that three persons who were on their way from Tangdhar, were trapped under a snow slide when they were trying to clear the road for their vehicles. 

Similarly, 20 persons including 16 men, 02 women and 02 children were rescued by army when their vehicles stuck in snow on the road Chowkibal – Tanghdhar.

“DC Kupwara and SP Kupwara sought help from Army authorities. Army unit stationed at Chowkibal responded immediately and sent two separate parties for rescue operations”, the spokesman said.

 Those rescued in both the incidents were medically examined at the Army base and were given shelter, food and clothing for the night. These families were dispatched to their respective places in the morning, the spokesman added.

On December 25, 2013, a Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, Hawaldar Rotaz Singh died while another , Sumesh Kumar of 69 bn is still missing when the duo slipped from the mountain track about 300 ft deep at Machil Sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. 

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