In Jammu & Kashmir, Indian Army rescues 81 tourists from avalanche and snowstorm

Team India Sentinels Thursday 22nd of February 2024 09:50 PM

Paramedics carry the body of Russian skier Anton, who lost his life after being trapped by the Gulmarg avalanche. (Photo credit: X/Kaisar Ali/@kaisaraly)

Jammu/Udhampur: In separate incidents across Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian Army demonstrated unwavering commitment to people’s safety and professionalism by swiftly rescuing stranded tourists on Thursday. This comes a day after the Army rescued over 500 tourists from a snowstorm in east Sikkim’s Nathu-la, as India Sentinels reported on Wednesday.

On the slopes of Apharwat, near Kongdori in Gulmarg, an avalanche struck a group of foreigners, including a local guide. The Indian Army’s Avalanche Rescue Team (ART) from Gulmarg Battalion acted promptly, saving seven lives and preventing further tragedy. However, a 50-year-old Russian skier named Anton lost his life.

The incident occurred at approximately 1pm. The affected group of eight individuals found themselves caught in the treacherous snowslide. The swift response of the Indian Army’s ART ensured that seven lives were saved. The High-Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) teams were also activated, contributing to the overall rescue efforts.

Meanwhile, Heavy snowfall and landslides paralysed the Jammu-Srinagar Highway, which trapped dozens of tourists. Among the stranded were 74 students and seven staff members from a law college in Rajasthan. The Army swung into action and swiftly rescued them, ensuring their safety and well-being.

The rescued students and faculty members. (Photo via X)

The students and staff had embarked on a memorable trip to Kashmir but found themselves marooned in Qazigund for three days due to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway caused by heavy snowfall. A landslide occurred just 500 metres ahead of their vehicle after crossing Banihal, leaving them frightened.

Professor Kalpesh Nikawat, principal of Mohanlal Sukhadia University in Udaipur, expressed profound gratitude to the Army for their timely intervention. He emphasized their role in providing food and shelter to the stranded individuals during inclement weather conditions. Professor Priyadarshi Nagda, another faculty member, also lauded the personnel for their efficiency, as they swiftly delivered blankets, food, and shelter to those in need.

Ashutosh Shastri, one of the students caught in the snowstorm, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Army and likened his stay at the Army camp to being at home during the challenging situation.

Some rescued students and faculty members seen having food at an Army camp. (Photo via X)


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