Five army jawans still trapped in Himachal avalanche as bad weather hampers rescue operations

Six jawans of the 7 JAK Rifles of the Army unit - four from Himachal Pradesh, one each from Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir- are feared dead in the avalanche

Published: 21st February 2019 01:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2019 01:09 PM   |  A+A-

Rescue officials conduct operation after five jawans were trapped in snow due to avalanche in Namgya region of Kinnaur Wednesday Feb 20 2019. | PTI

By PTI

SHIMLA: Heavy snow and rain have hampered the operation to search for five Army jawans trapped in the snow avalanche near the Shipki La border post in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district, officials said Thursday.

Six jawans of the 7 JAK Rifles of the Army unit - four from Himachal Pradesh, one each from Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir- are feared dead in the avalanche that occurred at around 11 AM on Wednesday.

The search and rescue operation has been adversely affected as Pooh witnessed 4 to 5 inches snowfall whereas more snowfall occurred at Shipki La and adjoining areas Wednesday night, Kinnaur District Public Relations Officer Mamta Negi said, adding it has been raining heavily at the spot since morning.

However, men have moved to continue the search operation, she added.

The body of one of the Army jawans was recovered on Wednesday itself, but there was no trace of five others.

The deceased jawan was identified as Rakesh Kumar (41) of Ghumarpur village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Five Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans were also injured in the avalanche.

They have been identified as Belangeen, Rajneesh Kumar, Mohammad Ishan, Rambaran, Tele Tek Chand, Army sources said.

When the avalanche descended rapidly down from the mountainside near Shipki La, 16 Army and ITBP jawans had gone towards the Shipki La border post from Namagya in order to repair a damaged water supply line.

While eight ITBP jawans were on the hill overseeing the water supply line, the Army jawans were standing down the hill, Army sources said.

Six Army jawans were buried alive.

One of them was rescued, but he succumbed to injuries subsequently.

In another development, a glacier has slid in Pooh nullah.

However no damage has been reported, the Kinnaur DPRO added.

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