Death toll in Sadhna top avalanche reaches 10; Govt announces compensation

Death toll in Sadhna top avalanche reaches 10; Govt announces compensation

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Kupwara, January 6 (KMW): Bodies of all ten missing passengers, including an 11-month-old baby and her mother, who were buried under a snow avalanche near high altitude Sadhna top in Kupwara district were recovered today after a 20-hour-long rescue operation.

The rescue operation launched Friday afternoon ended today evening with the recovery of a woman, who had tightly held her daughter (also killed in the devastating incident) close to her chest.

The emotionally-charged scene of the deceased mother holding daughter with blood stains on her face in a tight embrace, brought tears in eyes of rescuers, including locals, who assisted in rescue operations throughout the day.

Police identified the woman as Shafqat Begum and her daughter as Amina Maqbool, residents of Gundi Saydean village in Karnah.

Eight passengers went missing on Friday afternoon after a snow avalanche swept away a passenger can they were travelling in near the Sadhna top.

Two more passengers (from another vehicle), standing on the road, also came under the avalanche and were pushed down into a deep gorge, officials said.

Bodies of dead passengers including four women, all residents of Karnah, were sent to their home town Karnah for burial, they said.

“All ten bodies have been recovered after the hours-long rescue operation. The rescue took longer than anticipated as the bodies were under a large heap of snow in a highly difficult mountainous terrain,” Shamsher Hussian, who headed the rescue operations, said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction and Floriculture, Javaid Mustafa Mir has announced compensation under SDRF of Rs 4 lakh each to the next kin of the family of persons who were killed in a snow avalanche near Sadna top on Friday.

The Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 12600 each to the injured persons.

The Minister expressed deepest condolences with the bereaved families and assured every possible support to them by the state government. The Minister also directed to provide better medical facilities to all the injured persons.

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