Indian soldiers rescued hours after snow cave-in in Kashmir

AP News
Posted: Jan 28, 2017 9:13 AM
Indian soldiers rescued hours after snow cave-in in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Five Indian soldiers were rescued several hours after being trapped in snow that caved in on them as they patrolled Saturday along the highly militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Rescuers dug for the soldiers despite continuous snowfall and rescued all of them, Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said. The soldiers were on a routine patrol when the track they were on caved in around them in the Machil sector of the Himalayan region under India's control.

Kalia said the soldiers were undergoing treatment, but did not give any details about their condition.

Heavy snowfall has cut off roads and disrupted power and communications in Kashmir, and authorities have issued avalanche warnings in many areas, especially along the de facto frontier. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated from high-risk areas.

On Wednesday, avalanches buried a military post and swept away a patrol in Gurez, burying 21 soldiers, seven of whom were rescued. The bodies of the 14 others were recovered in two days. Four members of a family and an Indian army officer were killed in other avalanches.

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Avalanches and landslides have caused some of the heaviest casualty tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the Line of Control area.

In 2012, a massive avalanche in the Pakistan-controlled part killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.