Srinagar: A teenager was killed after being swept by an avalanche in Machael area close to the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s north-western Kupwara district on Saturday. However, two other youth buried under ten feet deep snow with him were rescued jointly by people, local police and Army jawans.
The trio, students of a local Islamic seminary, were crossing the avalanche prone area Chuntiwari Balla when struck by the avalanche, resulting in the death of 16-year-old Merajuddin Khan. The injured identified as Javed Ahmed Khan and Qaiser Ahmed Mir have been admitted to Kupwara’s sub-district hospital.
Defence spokesman S.D. Goswami said that the Army launched a swift rescue operation after hearing about the incident. “The Army detachment at T. Sant (camp) quickly swung into action on observing the boys caught in the avalanche. Undeterred by the raging blizzard, 15-20 feet of standing snow and further avalanche warnings, the Army’s avalanche rescue team was immediately launched for the rescue equipped with rescue equipment including avalanche victim detector with the help of which contact with the boys was established quickly,” he said.
The spokesman added that the rescue team found the boys, buried under 10 feet of snow, in a state of shock and physical exhaustion and administered critical first aid at the site itself. “The rescue mission was able to successfully evacuate Javed,16, and Qaisar, 14. However, the third boy Meraj unfortunately succumbed to his grievous injuries,” he said.
Kupwara police said that its jawans and local also took part in rescue operation.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, has issued medium danger avalanche warning for snowbound areas in Chowkibal-Tangdar, Taya, Ragini, Puttakhan, Zunegund, Malai, Pharkiyan, Keran sector, Bandipora, Razdhan, Gulmarg, Neeru, Burab, Chakwali, Naugaon, Kaiyan, Radha TMG, Padam, Zebra, Patlala, Z-Gali, Macchal, Dhudi, Tsuntwarl, Drass sector and Kargil sector in Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipore and Kargil districts.
“People are advised not to venture in steep avalanche prone slope during next 24 hours,” he said adding people are also advised to keep cleaning the snow from roof top of their houses to avoid any causality due to roof collapse.