Srinagar: An Army officer was killed and a few soldiers received minor injuries after they were swept away by an avalanche in Sonamarg area, about 100-km north of Srinagar, on Wednesday.
Major Amit Sagar of 115 Battalion of the Territorial Army, was identified as the officer killed due to the avalance.
Earlier four members of a family died as an avalanche buried their house in 2,580 m high Gurez area near the Line of Control (LoC) in Bandipore district.
One person was killed while he was clearing snow from the roof of his house in Kralpora village of frontier Kupwara district.
Kashmir Valley with neighbouring areas is experiencing moderate to heavy snowfalls for the past few days, disrupting normal life in many areas whereas several roads including vital Srinagar-Jammu highway have been shut mainly due to accumulation of snow and landslides.
Power supply to many areas has also been snapped. The authorities issued avalanche warning for higher reaches of the State, advising people to not venture into these areas.
Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told Deccan Chronicle that an Army office - a Major - was killed when swept away by an avalanche in Sonamarg area in Ganderbal district on Wednesday morning. He said that other soldiers earlier reported missing have been rescued. “None of them received major injury and no one is missing,” he said.
Reacting to earlier reports that five soldiers were killed and an equal number of others wounded in the incident he said, “I wonder where from they got this information.” The Army authorities here refused to divulge the name of the officer killed in the avalanche saying “We have to follow the set procedure under which his family is to be informed first.”
The police officials said that an avalanche struck at Badoogam village in Tulail area of Gurez early Wednesday and buried the house of Mehrajuddin Lone. The house collapsed under the debris of the avalanche resulting in death of 55-year-old Lone, his wife Azizi (50), 22-year-old son Irfan and daughter Gulshan (19). Lone's another son, Reyaz Ahmad, was rescued by the authorities and admitted to a hospital, the officials said.
At Kralpora in Kupwara, a house collapsed trapping two persons under the debris for more than forty minutes. One of them Abdul Gani Ganai who was earlier seen by neighbouts clearing snow from its roof was found dead under the debris by the rescuers, the police sources said.
Two residential houses collapsed in central district of Budgam district after heavy snowfall, the sources said. Many areas in the Valley’s Budgam, Bandipore, Ganderbal and Kupwara areas have received five to eight feet snow during past three days, reports received here said. The weatherman had predicted that snowfalls will continue for two more days in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir....