Two killed, Five missing after avalanche vehicle in Kupwara

At least seven people, including three women, are feared dead in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district after the vehicle they were travelling in was buried by an avalanche on Friday. Authorities have recovered two bodies so far, including one of a 10-year-old boy.
Deputy commissioner Khalid Jehangir said the passengers were on their way from Kupwara to Karnah in a cab when their vehicle was struck by the avalanche around 4pm. The 70km long only surface link connecting Karnah with Kupwara usually remains closed for at least three months during winters due to heavy snowfall.
“We have retrieved the body of a 10-year-old boy, Sulaiman, and the cab driver Zahoor Ahmad,” said a police officer, adding that the search operations were stopped after nightfall and will begin again on Saturday.
In some parts of Kashmir, including Gulmarg and Pahalgam, minimum temperatures dropped further with the region recording light snowfall. A MET department official said there was a possibility of light rains or snowfall at isolated places, especially in the higher reaches, over the next 24 hours.
The official said while the night temperature marked an improvement at most places across Kashmir division last night, the mercury in Gulmarg and Kokernag decreased from the previous night.
Gulmarg – the famous ski destination – recorded a low of minus 9 degrees Celsius, three degrees colder from the previous night, while south Kashmir’s Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius compared to minus 2.5 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, a slight increase from minus 3.9 degrees Celsius yesterday, the official said. Kargil town in Ladakh region continued to shiver as the minimum recorded temperature was minus 20 degrees Celsius, same as the previous night.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 40-day period of harsh winter.