Five dead, three rescued in Kashmir avalanche

Kashmir, Kashmir -IOK Comments Off 4
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Three policemen were rescued Friday while seven other bodies were recovered from an avalanche that buried 10 people in Indian-administered Kashmir following two days of heavy snowfall, police said.
The avalanche hit a fire emergency facility late Thursday in the Banihal area of the Kashmir valley. Six police, two prisoners and two other personnel had taken refuge there during a storm.
Rescuers dug for hours through heavy snow to reach the trapped personnel.
The dead include two firefighters and three police, another official said, adding the search for two more police was ongoing.
The three rescued policemen have been taken to hospital, senior official Baseer Khan told AFP.
Two other men died in Kashmir´s Ramban area after a landslide and falling stones hit them as they walked along a highway already blocked since Tuesday due to heavy rain and landslips, a police official said.
Another man died on Thursday when his home was buried under an avalanche in the southern Kukarnag area.
The avalanche in Banihal came after two days of heavy snowfall that cut electricity supplies to many areas and blocked roads.
More than 50 flights in and out of the main city of Srinagar were cancelled.
Authorities have also started rationing petrol and diesel as supplies in the Kashmir valley are running low. Bad weather has disrupted essential supplies for two weeks.
On January 18 a massive avalanche hit a high altitude mountain pass in the remote Ladakh area, near the border with China, killing 10 people. Rescuers took a week to retrieve the bodies.
Last year 11 civilians died in an avalanche at Kupwara near the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between Indian and Pakistan-controlled sectors. In 2017, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a series of avalanches.
In 2012, a wall of snow engulfed a camp below the Siachen glacier on the Pakistani side of the territory, killing 140 people, mostly Pakistani soldiers

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