Kinnaur, February 20: At least one Army jawan died and five others went missing after an avalanche hit their post in Namgya region of Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district on Wednesday. The avalanche was triggered when the glacier near Namgia Dogri bordering Tibet slid, burying six soldiers of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles when 16 soldiers were on routine patrol, a government official said.
The government earlier said in a statement that the avalanche killed five ITBP troopers. The government said in a revised statement that two separate parties of the Army and the ITBP were patrolling at Namgia Dogri when the avalanche hit. The soldier who died has been identified as Rajesh Kumar, 41, belonging to Himachal Pradesh.
Deputy Commissioner Gopal Chand told IANS over telephone that approximately 150 people of the Army and the administration were involved in the search operation. The disaster spot is some 350 km from the state capital. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the incident and pledged to provide all assistance to the Army to ensure relief and rehabilitation work.
The disaster spot has been witnessing heavy snowfall for the past few days. Himachal Pradesh is likely to receive moderate to heavy rain and snowfall in the next two days, a weather official in Shimla said.