Five dead, as many missing as avalanche hits Khardung La in Ladakh

Five dead, as many missing as avalanche hits Khardung La in Ladakh

Srinagar, Jan 18: Five persons died and five others went missing after their truck came under an avalanche in the Khardung La area of the Ladakh area of Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
The avalanche hit two trucks carrying 10 persons at Khardungla pass in Ladakh region at 7.00 am on Friday, an official of the Border Roads Organisation said.
The BRO pressed into service its men and machinery to rescue the passengers of the truck believed to be trapped under debris.
The police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel have reached the spot for rescue operations, the BRO official said.
“So far, the bodies of five persons have been recovered from the avalanche site, while a search is on for the other missing persons,” he said.
In a statement, army said that two civilian trucks along with 10 civilians were buried under the avalanche.
“The message of this unfortunate incident was given to the Army detachment at Khardungla Top at approx 0745hrs by the two civilian drivers,” said the statement.
Army teams deployed near the incident site swiftly moved and commenced the search & rescue operations, it said.
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.
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, said the statement.
The rescue operations are still in progress, however, since the Run Out Zone of the avalanche is approx 1100 metres down the steep hill side the operations may take some time, it said.