Five soldiers rescued from avalanche succumb to injuries

Srinagar, Jan 30 (IANS) Five Indian Army soldiers, rescued from the snow after being trapped by an avalanche near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district last week succumbed to their injuries while being evacuated, defence officials said on Monday.

The five soldiers got trapped under snow after a track caved-in in Machil sector of Kupwara on January 28.

They were subsequently rescued after a gruelling daylong mission, and were being brought to Srinagar on Monday, despite persistent poor weather conditions, for specialist medical care.

“Unfortunately, all the bravehearts have succumbed to their injuries,” a statement said.

No helicopter sorties could take place on Saturday and Sunday to either Gurez or Machil sectors due to foggy weather and continuing snowfall there.

The mortal remains of 14 soldiers who were killed in an avalanche in Gurez but could not be evacuated earlier because of the weather, were also brought to Srinagar on Monday in Indian Air Force helicopters.

Thesse soldiers were killed after two avalanches hit a military post and a patrol team along the Line of Control (LoC) in last few days.

Separate avalanches buried a military post and swept away a patrol on Wednesday night in Gurez, burying a total of 21 soldiers, out of which seven soldiers were rescued.

Earlier, an army major was also killed in an avalanche in Ganderbal district.

Kashmir has seen heavy snow this week and authorities had warned of the “high danger” of avalanches. Power and communication lines are also down in some areas.

Officials evacuated dozens of residents from high-risk areas after authorities issued an avalanche warning in many parts of the region.

–IANS

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