Another body buried under snow found at Jawahar tunnel, highway remains shut

SRINAGAR, FEB 09: A day after a massive avalanche hit a police post near the Jawahar Tunnel along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, rescuers found another body buried under mounds of snow and debris of a destroyed police post.

For rescuers looking for one missing policeman, high-velocity icy winds posed a huge challenge. A local resident who was part of the rescue operation said they tried their best to save trapped people after the police post was completely destroyed.

About 20 people were inside the police post when it was hit by the avalanche on Thursday evening.

With this, a total of eight persons were killed in the snow avalanche while two others were rescued alive.

A massive rescue operation was resumed in the morning for a policeman who was still missing after an avalanche washed away a police post near Jawahar tunnel in which seven people were killed while two others were rescued alive.

A police spokesman said the deceased included two firemen, a Crime Branch (CB) Dog Squad official, two policemen and two accused.

He said a police post was washed away on February 7 near tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway which remained closed for the fourth day today due to landslides and shooting stones.

Ten persons were buried alive under the avalanche which had also blocked one tube of the tunnel. He said two policemen were rescued alive. Seven bodies were recovered while a constable was missing.

Due to chilly winds and threat of more avalanches, rescue operation was stopped late last night. However, the operation by personnel of different agencies, was resumed this morning again.

The body of SG constable Parvaiz Ahmad was recovered today, taking the toll in the tragedy to eight.

 

An official of Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) said they lost two fire fighters Fayaz Ahmad Parray and Firdous Ahmad (driver) who were posted at F&ES station at tunnel.

Mohammad Maqbool, a policeman and one of the survivors, said that he was trapped inside a room along two other personnel and had to break the door open to come out.

With heavy snowfall closing the highway, thousands of truckers are stranded without food or money. A few good Samaritans have come to their rescue. “We are very grateful to locals here. We had no food and money. They have been giving us free food,” a truck driver said.

Thousands of truckers are stranded without food or money after the avalanche in Kashmir.

Sohan Lal, a trucker stranded in Qazigund for last 20 days says he has been able to survive the harsh weather only because of help from locals.

Frequent road closures have also led to a massive shortage of essential supplies in Kashmir. The government has now ordered rationing of fuel. Petrol pumps have been asked not to give more than three litres of petrol.

NH-44, the only road link that connects Kashmir with the rest of country, is still shut. It’s a long wait for truckers and other travellers. Officials are still not sure when the roads will open.