Seven people lost their lives after an avalanche hit two trucks, carrying 10 people, at the Khardungla pass in Ladakh region around 7.00 am on Friday, 18 January.
Authorities in Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, 19 January, ordered an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of seven people.
- The two trucks were buried 20 feet deep under the debris, nearly 800 metres from Khardungla Top towards South Pullu
- Five bodies were recovered on Friday, 18 Jan, while two more were found on Saturday, 19 Jan
- J&K Authorities constituted an enquiry committee to probe the deaths
- Governor Satya Pal Malik announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh for next of kin of those killed
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Avalanche Hits Khardung La, 10 People Trapped Under Snow
Ten people trapped under snow after an avalanche occurred in Khardung La, Ladakh, reported ANI. Search operations are underway.
(This is a developing story. More details awaited.)
Army, SDRF and Police involved in the Rescue Operation
According to CNN-News18, the police, army and the SDRF have reached the spot and are trying to remove the snow.
The news channel further added that the people were travelling in a vehicle which got buried under snow due to the avalanche.
One Person Dead, 9 Trapped: Reports
At least one person has been killed in an avalanche that hit Khardung La on Friday, reported The Indian Express quoting officials.
Speaking to the daily, Deputy Commissioner Leh, Avny Lavasa, said, “Rescue operation launched after civilians got buried under snow. It is believed that they were digging snow at Khardungla in Leh. Digging triggered a snow slide and civilians got buried. We are fearing that 10 civilians are trapped.”
3 Dead as Avalanche Hits Khardung La
At least three persons died while seven others are trapped after an avalanche hit Khardunga La in Ladakh, reported ANI.
“So far, the bodies of three persons have been recovered from the avalanche site, while a search is on for the other missing persons,” a Border Roads Organisation official was quoted as saying by PTI.
According to the official the avalanche hit their vehicle at 7 am.
5 Dead in Khardung La Avalanche
Five people have died after an avalanche hit Khardug La pass in Ladakh. 10 people were trapped under snow after an avalanche occurred in Khardung La.
Trucks Were Buried 20-Ft Deep Under Debris
"The two trucks, carrying 10 civilians, came under an avalanche at Khardungla pass, which is one of the highest motorable roads in the world at 17,500 feet, at 7.00 am," news agency PTI quoted a defence spokesperson as saying.
He said the trucks were buried 20 feet deep under debris, nearly 800 metres from Khardungla Top towards South Pullu.
As soon as the Army detachment at Khardungla Top was alerted about the incident, all resources of the Fire and Fury Corps were activated, the spokesman said.
"Army teams deployed near the incident site swiftly moved in and commenced search and rescue operations. Troops deployed at South Pullu and North Pullu were also moved to the site,” he added.
'Army Aviation Helicopters Pressed into Service'
The Army Aviation helicopters were pressed into service to move the highly trained avalanche rescue teams of the Army - Avalanche Panthers Teams - from Siachen Base Camp and North Pullu, a defence spokesperson was quoted by PTI, as saying.
These teams are equipped with specialised avalanche rescue gear, medical equipment and avalanche rescue dogs, which are being utilised in the search operations, he said.
The Army Aviation helicopters are conducting the Deep Search Radars which can detect human beings through snow.
GOC Fire and Fury Corps Carries out Aerial Assessment of the Incident
Lieutenant General Y K Joshi, GOC Fire and Fury Corps, carried out an aerial assessment of the incident and issued necessary directions for the smooth conduct of the rescue operations, PTI reported.
Political Leaders Condole the Loss of Life
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti condoled the loss of life in the accident.
In his message, the governor prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families in their hour of grief.
While condoling the deaths, Omar, in a tweet, said the accident once again highlighted the importance of tunnels and strategically important passes.
He called for tunnels under ZojiLa, KhardungLa, Razdan, Sadna and Sinthan passes, and a tunnel to connect Keran in North Kashmir and under Peer ki galli on the Mughal Road, so as "to stop areas being cut off in winter."
Mehbooba said, "(I am) Saddened to hear about the loss of lives because of the avalanche in Khardungla, Ladakh. Prayers for the families of the departed."
J&K Governor Announces Rs 5 Lakh Ex-Gratia Relief for Next of Kin of Those Killed
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the avalanche, according to PTI.
Two More Bodies Recovered, Death Toll Rises to 7
Two more bodies were recovered on Saturday, 19 January from the site where an avalanche struck two trucks in Ladakh, taking the death toll to seven, PTI reported quoting the officials as saying.
He said search was in progress for the remaining three persons. The official said arrangements have been made to airlift the bodies to Zanskar tehsil, the report added.