Snow Avalanches: Four Soldiers Die In Gurez, Tangdhar Sectors

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‘Third incident since November, 10 soldiers, two porters die so far’

Faizan Wani

Srinagar: Four soldiers died in two separate incidents of snow avalanches in Tangdhar sector in Kupwara district and Gurez sector in Bandipora district taking the total number of soldiers killed in snow avalanches to 10 since November 18.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), today’s incident is the third incident since November. Earlier, on November 18, an eight-member Army patrol was hit by an avalanche in Northern Sector of Siachen Glacier at an altitude of 19,000 feet. Six persons-four army men and two porters died of extreme hypothermia while two others survived. On November 30, two soldiers died after a snow avalanche hit Siachen.

Since November 18, 10 soldiers and two porters have died in snow avalanches in Kashmir. Snow avalanches have been inflicting heavy casualties to army since past one decade. On November 7, Kashmir witnessed season’s first and unseasonal heavy snowfall.

Defence spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia told KNO that in two separate incidents, a snow avalanche hit a post in Tangdhar sector in Kupwara district and an army patrol was hit by a blizzard in Gurez sector in Bandipora district on December 3.

“The rescue teams managed to locate and retrieve all personnel from both incidents. Despite best efforts by the rescue and medical teams, three soldiers succumbed in Tangdhar sector while one breathed his last at Gurez sector,” Colonel Kalia told Greater Kashmir.

Defence sources said that soldiers have been advised to take precautions and not to go for patrol when there is an avalanche alert especially at the forward posts and Saichen glacier, which is world’s highest battlefield. “All the army units operating at the forward posts have been advised to follow weather updates and to avoid patrolling whenever there is avalanche alert or bad weather alert,” a source said. (KNO)

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