Afghan avalanche kills 30, injures 70: Ministry

Afghan avalanche kills 30, injures 70: Ministry Kabul: An avalanche triggered by heavy snow killed up to 30 people and left another 70 injured in the treacherous mountains of northern Afghanistan, the defence ministry said.

Snow buried cars in Salang, a mountain pass connecting Kabul to the north of the country, said a statement from the ministry.

"Since Monday afternoon until now around 1,500 people who were stranded by the avalanche have been rescued," the statement said.

"Around 70 people are injured, and 30 others have been martyred." But the public health ministry put the death toll at 15. Ten people died when an avalanche hit their bus and pushed it hundreds of metres (yards) into the pass, it said.

"Five others died when their car was buried by the falling snow," ministry spokesman Ahmad Farid Rahid said to a news agency.

Another 65 people were injured, he said, adding that most had been evacuated to the nearby Chaharikar city hospital.

Acting public works minister Sohrab Ali Safari was in Salang to oversee the reopening of the southern end of the pass, which had been blocked by the avalanche, a ministry statement said.