2 more bodies recovered, toll 7

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 19: Rescuers recovered two more bodies from the debris of snow avalanche at Khardung La Top in Leh district today, taking death toll in the tragedy to seven and continued searches for three more labourers trapped in the snow, whose chances of survival were now extremely bleak.
During day long searches, the rescue parties from Army, SDRF, police and other agencies recovered bodies of two more labourers from the debris of avalanche, official sources said, adding the bodies have been shifted to Leh hospital. The victims have been identified as Lobzang Sangrup, 22, son of Tsering Stanzing, a resident of Khasar, Zanskar in Kargil district and Nawang Tundup, 33, son of Nawang Tsering R/o Tankard, Zanskar.
Five bodies were recovered and identified yesterday. They too hailed from Zanskar area of Kargil district. In fact, all 10 labourers trapped in snow avalanche belonged to Zanskar.
Three persons, who were still under the snow avalanche, have been identified as Rigzin Mutup, 28, son of Ishey Spalden R/o Skyagam, Zanskar, Nawang Tashi, 22, son of Nawang Tsering R/o Aksho, Zanskar and Lobzang Nurboo, 30, son of Tsering Dorjag, a resident of Kushul, Zanskar.
Five labourers, whose bodies were recovered yesterday, included Norbo Tsering son of Tsering Motup R/o Tokhta, Zanskar, Thinles Spalzang son of Tsering Dorjay R/o Tokhta, Zanskar, Tsewang Tashi son of Lobzang Chombel R/o Sunni, Zanskar, Tsewang Tashi son of Sonam Tashi R/o Abram, Zanskar and Lobzang Chombul son of Nawang Tharchin R/o Bakarchi, Zanskar.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate, Leh, Avny Lawasa today ordered an inquiry into the tragedy at Khardung La Top.
Ghulam Nabi Tak, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Leh and Gurmeet Mangail, Tehsil Leh have been nominated as two officers to conduct the inquiry, examine all aspects of the incident and submit their report within three days.
A Defence spokesman said the rescue operation at Khardung La resumed at first light today to search for the missing five labourers.
Rescue teams from the Fire & Fury Corps, mustered from the base camp and from Shyok Axis of the Siachen Brigade consisting of Avalanche Panther Teams along with avalanche rescue dogs and deep search radars were employed for the search.
“Inspite of the inclement weather conditions and snowfall in the area, troops of the Fire and Fury Corps have braved the extreme harsh terrain and severe subzero temperatures to carry out the daunting task tirelessly with unflinching dedication and devotion. A command and control center established at Khardung La Top under the aegis of the Fire & Fury Corps has been continuously coordinating the rescue operations round the clock,” the spokesman said.
The GOC Fire and Fury Corps along with the Commander Siachen Brigade carried out an aerial assessment of the incident site and issued further necessary directions for the smooth conduct of the rescue operations.
The search and rescue teams were able to extricate the bodies of two more civilians today, thus bringing the total number of bodies recovered so far to seven, the spokesman said.