Avalanche Kills 7, Snow Fury Toll Mounts To 12 In J&K

SRINAGAR — The bodies of five policemen and two civilians who went missing along with four cops after an avalanche at Jawahar Tunnel along Srinagar-Jammu highway have been found on Thursday.

So far, twelve people were killed while one is still missing in following the season's heaviest snowfall on Thursday.

The rescuers comprising police, local volunteers and member of SDRF besides government forces digging through police post buried under tonnes of snow that came barrelling down a mountainside on north portal of Jawahar Tunnel also found three policemen alive who were immediately evacuated to hospital.

Official sources said that the rescue teams faced lot of difficulty in reaching the avalanche site on Friday morning due to strong winds and addition snow.

Three survivors were located by the rescuers and they have been identified as  Mohammed Khalil (SPO) of Dog Squad, Ghulam Nabi alias Gulzar (305/K) and Mohammad Maqbool, a selection grade constable. Seven bodies were also retrieved and they include that of Fayaz Ahmad Parrey (Selection Grade Fire man, belt No. 1571), Firdous Ahmad (head constable of fire service, Driver No. 181), constable Arshad Gul (1000/ Kgm), Head Constable Muzafer (125/ Kgm.), Shabnam of (Dog squad) Kokernag, Vikram Singh (civilian) son of Kalvender Singh of Salan Talab Udhampore and Baljeet Singh son of Hari Singh of Dera Baba Nanak Gurdaspore Punjab. The duo from Punjab had been arrested after two days back with Fuqqi.

One policeman, Parvez Ahmad (220/ Kgm) is still missing and rescuers will resume operation tomorrow, the officials said. They said that rescue operation was suspended due to darkness and inclement weather conditions in the area.

The avalanche had hit the north portal of Jawahar Tunnel on the Qazigund side in Kulgam district on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, two non-locals were killed in a landslide in Ramban district along the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

The incident occurred when they were crossing by foot at Maroog area, when landslide suddenly hit them, the officials said.

The deceased have been identified as Pramod Mankotia of Himachal Pradesh and Sanjit Lakara of West Bengal.

A couple was killed while their two children were rescued after an avalanche destroyed their home in Kokernag area of Anantnag district late on Thursday.

Multiple avalanches occurred at many other places in the Kashmir valley, but due to lack of communication and connectivity, the extent of casualties or damage, if any, is not yet clear.

Authorities have shifted 78 families from avalanche-prone areas of Waltangoo Nar and Kund in Kulgam district to safer places.

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