Army jawans were killed while seven others were feared dead as avalanches
struck two Army camps in Ganderbal and Bandipora districts of Kashmir
Valley. As many as 13 jawans were rescued, two of them in an injured
condition, from the debris of the avalanche that hit the 109 infantry
Brigade in Dawar area of Gurez -- close to the Line of Control -- in
Bandipora, Army officials said.
The avalanche struck at 9.15 PM last night but the information about the
tragedy started trickling in this morning as Gurez Valley is cut off from
rest of the country due to heavy snowfall during winter.
jawans are still missing and feared to be trapped under the debris of the
avalanche with little hopes of their survival. Army spokesman Colonel
Garewal said 29 jawans were buried under the avalanche. "Nine bodies have
been recovered while 13 others were rescued. Seven personnel are still
missing," he said.
Defence Spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said it was for the first time that
an avalanche has hit the spot. "There are no records of an avalanche
hitting this place earlier," he said. The 109 Infantry Brigade, which
guards the LoC in Gurez sector, is located in the foothills of the Valley.
The recent heavy snowfall had made it avalanche-prone.
Minister Omar Abdullah expressed deep condolences to the families of the
victims. The Chief Minister said he was sending his minister with a
personal message of condolence to the Army's Srinagar based 15 Corps
General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lt Gen S A Hasnain.