India’s border roads official killed, 8 others missing after avalanches struck Indian-controlled Kashmir

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An official associated with India’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was killed and eight others went missing after avalanche struck Indian-controlled Kashmir, hitting a passenger taxi and bystanders in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said Saturday.

The avalanche triggered Friday evening following fresh snowfall in upper reaches near remote Sadhna pass in frontier Kupwara district, about 130 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

“Last evening a BRO official was killed and eight others went missing after a passenger taxi, a BRO vehicle, two officials and few bystanders were hit by avalanches that drifted from mountain near Sadhana Pass on Kupwara-Tangdhar,” a police official said.

“The two beacon officials came under a snow avalanche when they were standing near their vehicle. They were rescued and one of them, a junior engineer was declared brought dead at army unit hospital in Chowkibal.”

According to officials, the road was slippery due to heavy snowfall and drivers had stopped their vehicles on the road to have a look as a precautionary measure.

“There were seven persons including three women, one child and three inside the vehicle when it was swept away,” a senior police official in Kupwara Shamsher Hussain told media. “Two more persons who were on the road were hit by another avalanche and they are also missing. However, an 11-year old boy was rescued immediately and has been shifted to a Srinagar hospital for treatment.”

Police said though they immediately pressed in rescue teams to trace the missing, bad weather and darkness hampered their efforts.

“We suspended the search operation late in evening because of bad weather and subzero temperature, and resumed it afresh today,” the police official said.

Indian-controlled Kashmir has a rugged terrain. Landslides and avalanches are often triggered from its mountains during frequent rains and heavy snowfall the region receives.

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