Khardung La Avalanche: Toll Reaches Seven as Two More Bodies Recovered, Three Remain Missing
Rescue operations underway after an avalanche hit Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region (Photo credit: IANS)

Srinagar, January 19: Two more dead bodies were recovered on Saturday from the debris of an avalanche that hit two vehicles in the Khardung La region of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh. The death toll has now reached to seven. The avalanche struck the Khardung La pass on Friday trapping 10 people. A rescue operation was underway to find the remaining three persons.

The avalanche hit two trucks at Khardung La in Ladakh region, burying 10 people. Five bodies were recovered earlier. According to a PTI report, an SUV was also struck by the avalanche. Two more people are missing, said the report. According to Army officials, the mishap in the mountainous pass occurred when two trucks and an SUV were being loaded with snow.

The avalanche struck the vehicles burying them under snow on Friday. After hours of searching, five of the bodies were recovered on the same day by rescuers from the Army, State Disaster Response Force and local police. Two more bodies were located today. A total of seven bodies have been recovered so far. Search and rescue efforts have been underway to locate the others.

The Army has deployed special ‘Avalanche Panthers’ teams with specialised equipment and rescue dogs for the search efforts. Army Aviation helicopters have been used to transport deep search radars, which can detect human bodies through the snow. Kargil war hero Lt Gen YK Joshi has also assured full support to the civil administration in the rescue operations.

Expressing grief over the loss of lives, Governor Satya Pal Malik had on Friday announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased. (With PTI inputs)