Srinagar Jan 18: Army along with the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) rescued 30 civilians stuck in avalanche triggered by heavy snowfall on Chowkibal-Tangdhar road (NH-701) in north Kashmir's Kupwara district since last night, officials said on Tuesday.
"As soon as the information of civilians getting stuck closer to Khooni Nala and SM Hill on NH 701 reached the troops at NC pass, two rescue teams comprising avalanche rescue teams from Indian Army and a team of GREF were mobilised for rescuing the civilians who were stuck in their vehicles, " an Army spokesman said.
"Despite adverse weather conditions compounded by twin avalanches, 14 civilians were rescued and brought to Neelam and 16 civiians to NC pass, which is also commonly known as Sadhna pass. All the rescued civilians were provided food, medical care and shelter for the night, " he added.
As per the spokesman, 12 vehicles were later retrieved on Tuesday post avalanche and snow slides clearance from the road. "GREF played a difficult but stellar role in snow clearance amidst dangerous conditions. The entire effort took about five to six hours".
"It may be highlighted that last year also civilians were rescued by the troops near Khooni Nala, closer to NC pass, as the area is prone to avalanches and snow slides. The Indian Army stands by its tradition of helping out the citizens during their hour of need, " added the spokesman.