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Five soldiers rescued from avalanche on Saturday, die

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The five soldiers who were rescued after being trapped in snow on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Macchil sector, have died. The soldiers had got buried in snow after a track leading to their post had caved in. They had been taken to a hospital in Srinagar, where they were receiving medical care.

The soldiers were on Monday airlifted to Srinagar for specialist medical care but it was too late, taking the number of troops dead due to snow-related incidents in the border state to 20 in a week.

Inclement weather hampered the army’s efforts to evacuate the soldiers, who were trapped after a snow track caved in, to a hospital for specialised treatment.

“Extreme foggy conditions with intermittent snow exists in Kashmir Valley. Army aviation pilots are attempting to evacuate the five soldiers who were rescued in Macchil to Srinagar for specialised treatment,” a defence spokesman had said earlier in the day.

Heavy snowfall over the last week has triggered avalanches across the Valley. Several soldiers were buried under snow after an avalanche hit an Army post at Tulail on Wednesday. Another avalanche hit an Army patrol sometime later in the same village. Fourteen soldiers were killed in the two avalanches.

The spokesman also said the mortal remains of the 14 soldiers killed in an avalanche in Gurez Sector of Kashmir on January 25 could also not be flown to Srinagar as flight operations have been hampered by bad weather.

The bodies would be taken to their native places on Tuesday for last rites.

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