Avalanche hits Army post; 3 soldiers killed

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Feb 2: Three soldiers were killed and another was injured after an Army post came under an avalanche in Machil sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district this afternoon.
A senior police officer said that an Army post of 21 Rajput came under an avalanche today at around 4.30 pm at Sona Pandi Gali (SPG) in Machil along the Line of Control.
He said due to avalanche, four soldiers went buried. A search operation was started immediately and all the four soldiers trapped under snow were rescued.
However, one died on the spot and two others succumbed while they were being referred to 92 base hospital Badamibagh, Srinagar and fourth one Sepoy Bipin is said to be stable and has been hospitalized.
The deceased have been identified as Havaldar Kamlesh Kumar, Niak Balbeer and Sepoy Rajinder.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed deep sorrow over the death of three soldiers in Machil sector.
The Chief Minister has conveyed her sympathies to the families of dead soldiers.
Authorities had issued avalanche warning in the hills of Kashmir after fresh snowfall in past three days.
In the meantime, due to clear overnight sky, the minimum temperatures in the Kashmir Valley and the Ladakh region again dropped below the freezing point today.
“The weather is likely to remain dry in Jammu and Kashmir in the next 24-hours with minimum temperatures expected to fall further,” a MeT official said.
Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius, one degree up from yesterday’s 1.7 degree Celsius while the day temperate settled at 14.4 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, in South Kashmir registered a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius, five degree Celsius below yesterday’s temperature of 2.0 degree Celsius while the day temperate settled at 13.6 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Kokernag, in South Kashmir, settled at 0.0 degrees Celsius, two degrees down from yesterday’s 1.9 degrees Celsius while the day temperate was 12.2 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara town in north recorded the minimum of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, three degrees below from yesterday’s 1.3 degrees Celsius while the day temperate was 15.0 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 4. 0 degree Celsius last night, down by 5 degrees from yesterday’s 0.6 degree Celsius while the day temperate settled at 12.4 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius and was the coldest recorded place in the valley, one degree Celsius down from yesterday’s minus 5 degrees Celsius while the day temperate settled at 4.2 degrees Celsius.
Kargil recorded a low of minus 13 degrees Celsius, ten degrees down from yesterday’s  minus 3 degrees Celsius while the day temperate was 5.0 degrees Celsius.
Leh town recorded a low of minus 11.3 degrees Celsius, four degrees down from yesterday’s minus 7.8 degrees Celsius while the day temperate settled at 9.2 degrees Celsius.
‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir, ended two days back, but the cold continued in the valley.