Avalanche kills three in Indian-controlled Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Kashmir (Xinhua) – Three people were killed after an avalanche hit them in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said yesterday.

The men who belonged to a snow clearing team were hit on Friday after an avalanche swept a snow clearing machine near Aru-Pahalgam in Anantnag district, about 104km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Kashmir.

According to police, one person was rescued from the mounds of snow immediately and admitted in hospital, while two others went missing.

Following the incident local police and disaster response personnel were pressed into service to trace the missing.

“We retrieved two bodies from the snow after hectic efforts that went on late in night. The person who was rescued alive too succumbed at district hospital Anantnag,” a senior police official posted in Anantnag told Xinhua.

Last month two people including a 12-year-old girl were killed and two women rescued after an avalanche hit them in the region’s Ramban district.

Plains and upper reaches in the region witnessed heavy to moderate snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday, following which authorities issued avalanche warning, urging people not to venture near steep slopes.

On Thursday night an avalanche also hit Jawahar tunnel, resulting in the closure of a highway.