An army soldier was killed and another injured in an avalanche in the forward area of Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Thursday. According to reports, the avalanche hit the post of Rashtriya Rifles in Sawjian sector around 4 am in the morning. It buried two soldiers, following which a rescue operation was launched immediately, the police said.
"Two soldiers were trapped under the avalanche. A rescue operation was immediately started and both were taken out of the debris. One of the soldiers identified as Lance Naik Sapan Mehra has succumbed to his injuries while the other has been shifted to a hospital for treatment," an official said.
Army Sources: One Army jawan dead and one injured in an avalanche in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir pic.twitter.com/hsVnmypzk7— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2019
This is not the first time when our soldiers have lost their lives due to an avalanche. Three soldiers were killed when an avalanche struck their post in Machhil sector of Jammu and Kashmir in February 2018. In 2016, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other soldiers of Madras Regiment were buried after their post was hit by an avalanche in Siachen at an altitude of 19,600 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC).
Meanwhile, Kashmir received it first snowfall of the New Year on Wednesday, breaking a month-long dry spell in the Valley. The 300-kilometre-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway and the Mughal Road, which connects Jammu's Poonch and Rajouri districts with south Kashmir's Shopian, have been closed for vehicular traffic after the fresh snowfall, according to officials.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan', the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably. The period ends on January 31. The weather department has predicted more precipitation in Kashmir over the next three days.
With PTI Inputs