J-K avalanche: Rescue operations in Khinmarg called off: 17 jawans, 1 officer die

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Gulmarg, Feb.8 (ANI): The rescue operations launched to save trapped armymen and others in avalanche at Khilanmarg area of Jammu and Kashmir were called off on Monday evening after all the trapped persons were rescued except for the 17 jawans of the Indian army and a Lieutenant who died in the tragedy.

Sixteen of the rescued persons, however, are still in critical condition having suffered multiple fractures in the avalanche, a private channel reported.

The accident occurred in Khilanmarg near Gulmarg, a ski resort visited by thousands of people, including some foreigners, during winter.

The avalanche hit the Army's High Altitude Warfare School in Kashmir. It's a rugged area at an altitude of 2,730 m (9,000 feet) near a military line.

It so happened that the avalanche came down on a 60-strong group while they were going up the sheer ice walls in Khilanmarg with near zero visibility. All of them were part of a group of 350 soldiers selected for advanced winter warfare course run by the Gulmarg-based school, a senior officer stated.

The group had set out at 0800 hours on Monday from Gulmarg and reached Khilanmarg eight km uphill at a height of over 10,000 feet to set up a winter warfare training camp when the avalanche hit it. (ANI)

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