A major avalanche in Sikkim’s Nathula area on Tuesday (April 4) has killed seven tourists and injured 11 others, said police officials in the state capital Gangtok.
The injured in the avalanche have been rushed to the hospital in Gangtok. “Rescue and clearance operations are still on,” a senior police official told the media. Nathula Pass is situated on the border with China and is a major tourist destination because of its scenic beauty.
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In the avalanche, which occurred early morning at the 14th milestone on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, approximately 5-6 vehicles along with 20-30 tourists on way to Nathula are feared to have been buried under the snow.
Troops of Trishakti Corps, Indian Army and team of BRO Project SWASTIK swung into action immediately and launched an all-out rescue mission, said a defence press release.
Twenty-three tourists rescued till 4pm, including six from deep valley were shifted to nearby medical facilities of Indian Army. Unfortunately, seven persons have succumbed, said the release. Search and rescue mission for the remaining persons are underway by the Army, State Disaster Management Team and Police.
Some 350 people and 80 vehicles, which were stranded on the road because of the snow blocking the road from Nathu La, were also brought back, officials said. Rescue operations are on, said the defence statement.