SRINAGAR Ten people travelling in two tippers were swept away by an avalanche in Khardungla Top area of the Ladakhs Leh district on Friday morning. Five bodies have been recovered while as many others are feared dead and rescue operation would be resumed on Saturday morning after it was suspended due to darkness on Friday evening.
An official said that the incident occurred at around 7 a.m. when two tippers carrying 10 labourers came under the avalanche and were swept by the snow mass at Khardungla Top.
Soon after the incident, a rescue operation was launched by the joint teams of Police, SDRF, Army and GREF.
The rescue teams has so far recovered the five bodies and the searches operation to retrieve the remaining five was stopped in the evening in wake of darkness and will be resumed tomorrow morning, the official said.
A defence ministry spokesman said two civilian trucks alongwith 10 civilians were buried under an avalanche of approximately 20 feet depth early on Friday.
The message of this unfortunate incident was given to the Army detachment at Khardungla Top at approx 0745hrs by the two civilian drivers. Immediately on receipt of this information all resources of the Fire & Fury Corps were activated, the spokesman said.
Army teams deployed near the incident site swiftly moved and commenced the search and rescue operations, he said.
Troops deployed at South Pullu & North Pullu were also moved to the incident site, he said. Simultaneously, the Army Aviation helicopters were pressed into action to move the highly trained avalanche rescue teams of the Army called Avalanche Panthers Teams from Siachen Base camp and North Pullu.
He said these teams are equipped with specialised avalanche rescue equipment, medical equipment and avalanche rescue dogs, which are being utilised in the search and rescue operations.
Army Aviation helicopters were also used to move the Deep Search Radars which can detect human beings through snow.
Medical teams alongwith doctors and nursing assistants, heating blankets, medical equipment and warm clothing were moved to the avalanche site from the Army Hospital at Hunder, he said.
Lieutenant General YK Joshi, GOC Fire & Fury Corps personally carried out an aerial assessment of the incident and issued necessary directions for the smooth conduct of the rescue operations, the spokesman said.
Out of the 10 civilians reported to be buried under the avalanche, four bodies have so far been recovered and mangled pieces of one of the tippers was found on the steep slopes below the road, he said, adding, The rescue operations are still in progress.
Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over loss of precious lives due to snow avalanche at Khardung La in Leh district, this morning.
In his message Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families in their hour of grief.
Governor has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh for the Next of the Kin of those killed in the Avalanche.
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