At least five bodies have been recovered, hours after at least 10 people got trapped in an avalanche in Khardung La area of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, reported news agency ANI. Earlier, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council had confirmed recovery of four bodies, even as the search and rescue operations continued.
There were also reports of at least two vehicle getting trapped in the snow. Two tippers and a Scorpio car, which were carrying a total of 12 people, left for Khardung La on Friday morning to load snow. The avalanche struck when one of the tipper had been loaded with snow while the other one was being filled with the same.
The vehicle was hit by the avalanche at 7 am, a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) official told PTI. The official added that the BRO has sent its men and machinery to rescue the trapped persons. It was unclear whether the persons in the truck were civilians or security force personnel.
On Thursday, a fresh avalanche warning was issued for nine districts of the Kashmir division. The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts.
The deputy commissioners of all these districts were ordered by Kashmir divisional commissioner Baseer Khan to advise the people to stay away from avalanche-prone areas.
According to MeT officials, several parts of Kashmir valley witnessed heavy snowfall on Thursday with Srinagar receiving 5.4 mm of snow, Gulmarg in north Kashmir witnessing 15.2 mm snowfall. Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded 9.0 mm snow and Kupwara received 16.2 mm of snow.