Inclement weather in Himachal hampers search for five soldiers

Representative Image (Photo : IANS)

Shimla :  Rescuers on Thursday resumed a search operation but inclement weather hampered it near the Tibet border with Himachal Pradesh where a snow avalanche killed a soldier while five others have gone missing.

The family of the soldier, whose body was recovered on Wednesday, said no official from the local administration visited them to express grief.

As the efforts entered the second day, the authorities suspected that the five soldiers might be trapped in the snow pile spread over a 200 square metre area.

“This morning, the search operation began despite snowfall. But later in the day, the operation was stopped owing to another avalanche threat,” a government official told IANS.

He said the operation would resume on Friday morning.

Last night, there were reports of another glacier receding in Pooh area, close to the disaster spot. But there has been no loss of life.

The avalanche on Wednesday was triggered when the glacier near Namgia Dogri bordering Tibet slid, burying six soldiers of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles while 16 of them were on a routine patrol.

Five Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) troopers were also injured in the disaster.

The state government said two separate parties of the Army and the ITBP were patrolling at Namgia Dogri when the avalanche hit.

The soldier who died has been identified as Rajesh Kumar, 41, belonging to Himachal Pradesh’s Bilaspur district.

The disaster spot, which is some 350 km from the state capital, has been witnessing heavy snowfall over the past few days.

Himachal Pradesh is likely to receive moderate to heavy rain and snowfall till early Friday and thereafter, the weather would be largely dry, a weather official in Shimla said.

 Published on: Feb 21, 2019 at 19:46 IST


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