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Nine civilians rescued from avalanche-hit areas

Last Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 12:17

Srinagar: Nine civilians trapped in
avalanche-hit Sonamarg area of Kashmir for three days were
rescued on Friday by local authorities assisted by Army even as
hopes of finding alive three army men missing in the snow slide
in Gurez sector faded away.

"Nine civilians have been rescued from snow-bound
Sonamarg area this morning with the assistance of the Army,"
Coordinator Natural Disaster Management Cell Aamir Ali said.

Ali said three government employees had started from
Sonamarg, 85 kms from here, to Ganderbal by foot on Wednesday
but two of them went missing following heavy snowfall and
avalanches at some places along the route.

"Only one of them managed to reach Ganderbal and informed
the administration about the two missing persons. However, the
missing persons managed to contact the authorities through a
phone call and informed that they had taken shelter under
Shitkari bridge," he said.

Ali said as the rescue team reached the spot, they found
nine persons at the spot including the two employees.

"They have been airlifted in Cheetah helicopters to
Sonamarg from where they will be flown to Ganderbal district
headquarters in a Mi-17 chopper," he added.

Snow avalanches hit Sonamarg area on Wednesday evening
and in one incident, three army personnel were killed while
six others were injured.

Meanwhile, hope of finding any survivors among the three
missing army personnel in Gurez sector of Bandipora district
faded away.

The three army personnel were guarding the sentry post
at the workshop of 109 Infantry Brigade when a snow avalanche
struck on Wednesday night. The sentry post is buried under 18
feet of snow and inclement weather has been hampering the
search operations.

So far, 13 bodies of army personnel have been recovered
in Gurez while 13 others were rescued.

Sixteen army personnel, including five officers, were
killed in the two avalanches in Ganderbal and Bandipora
districts of Kashmir Valley.


First Published: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 12:17
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