J&K: Avalanche kills 11 in Kupwara district

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Eight people went missing after an avalanche hit a vehicle they were travelling in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, reports said.

It is reported that 11 passengers are confirmed dead as rescue operations have stopped, as per local reports.

Both the incidents occurred near the Sadhna Top area of the district.

The bodies of three persons, including a woman, have been recovered which are still at 400 feet in the gorge, they said adding the bodies could not be brought to top because of slip and darkness. The authorities have rushed SDRF and mountaineer rescue teams for help.

A Border Roads Organisation engineer was rescued during the operation but unfortunately could not be revived due to the scarcity of doctors at the site. The deceased Beacon officer was identified as Mangla Prasad Singh, a junior engineer from 109 RRC. "Without the local volunteers, it was quite impossible to recover the bodies in the record time keeping in view the tough terrain and bad weather", he said.

Rescue operations were considered to be extremely hard in the frigid cold conditions as the temperatures dropped down several degrees below zero.

Avalanches are becoming frequent in upper reaches of the state with several army outposts too being struck in the past.

The tragedy struck on Friday afternoon when a passenger Tata Sumo going to Tangdar from Kupwara, bearing registration number JK09A/3249, and a Beacon vehicle, and also some pedestrians were hit by an avalanche near Sadhna Top on the Kupwara-Tangdar road.