Himachal Pradesh: Over 250 Army Personnel Launch Search Mission To Rescue 5 Jawans Stuck In Avalanche
An Army jawan of the 7 JAK Rifles was killed while five others are feared dead in an avalanche near Shipki La of Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh. The incident took place at around 11 am on February 20 when the jawans were reportedly trying to fix a frozen water supply pipe to their camp.
Army launches search operations
According to NDTV, over 250 Army and paramilitary personnel have launched a massive search operation to find the five jawans who are buried in snow after the avalanche hit them. However, district officials have said that inclement weather conditions like snow and rain are hampering the rescue operations. While it has been raining at the rescue site, the region experienced 5 inches of snowfall on Wednesday night, said Kinnaur district public relations officer Mamta Negi.
The Times Of India reported that some Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans were also patrolling above them who tried to warn the Army personnel about the avalanche, however, they couldn’t get out in time. Reportedly, around 16 Army personnel were patrolling the area in two separate teams. The deceased jawan was identified as 41-year-old Rakesh Kumar of Ghumarpur village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.
Several soldiers were trapped in the snow and while many others were rescued, one died on the way to the hospital. Kinnaur deputy commissioner Gopal Chand said that some ITBP personnel also sustained minor injuries. Irrespective of the harsh weather conditions where the temperature is 15 degrees below the freezing point, the search and rescue operations would continue till the last man is retrieved, said Army spokesperson to Hindustan Times.
The area is located at an altitude of 1400 ft and the incident is a grim reminder of the 2016 incident when 10 soldiers died after a massive avalanche in the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region. The Logical Indian commends the undeterred efforts of the Indian Army and other security forces in this massive search and rescue operations.