Four killed, two injured and 32 rescued in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Feb 8 (UNI) Four people were killed, two other injured, while 32 were rescued in the Kashmir valley where several houses and other structures were buried under avalanches this morning.

With this about 20 peoples, including a Norwegian woman skier, porters and soldiers, were buried alive under avalanches during the past one month after heavy snowfall.

A police spokesman told UNI that police today rescued 32 people, including two injured buried under an avalanche in Gujjar Pati area on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway early this morning.

He said Divisional Commisioner, Kashmir and Inspector General of Police have rushed to the spot to supervise the rescue and relief operation.

''The operation, also joined by the Army, was still on and we have recovered one body so far'', he said.

However, official sources said three bodies have been recovered, while several others were still buried under the snow.

The police spokesman said many people, including women and children, were buried alive after their six 'kothhars' came under a huge avalanche in village Gulab Bagh, Gujjar Pati area on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway near Lower Monda.

He said despite ten feet of snow in the area, police parties were rushed to the affected village.

So far 32 people have been rescued and shifted to safe places.

One body has also been recovered, he said, adding that the operation was still on when the reports last came in.

A Defence Ministry spokesman told UNI that two companies of the Army have been rushed to the area to carry out rescue operations.

Quoting Superintendent of Police Swayam Prakash Pani, spokesman said that some houses and other structures were buried under about eleven feet of snow in the avalanche-prone deep forest area.

Mr Pani said a police rescue party headed by inspector Reyaz Ahmad was rushed to the affected village.

The Police party reached the village after covering the five km distance on foot through nine feet to eleven feet snow, risking their lives.

A residential structure had collapsed in which one Mohammed Shafi Chechi was killed and two others identified as Mohammed Yaqoob and his daughter Razia Chechi were injured.

He said the injured were physically lifted by the police personnels to safer places where they were provided medical treatment.

The spokesman said 32 more villagers were also rescued and taken to safer place where they were provided food and warm clothing.

He said a woman, Sitara Begum, wife of one Abdul Ahmad was killed after their house came under a huge avalanche at Nayal in Gurez sector.

Two more persons died after they were buried alive under an avalanche in the same area, he said.

UNI BAS DS GC1545

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