May 20, 2010 12:01:27 am
Two persons were killed while 73 others,mostly tourists,had a narrow escape when avalanche struck a mountainous pass,two kilometres short of Changla Top on the Leh-Karu-Tangtse axis,en route to Pangong Lake bordering China in Ladakh region on Tuesday.
The 73 people trapped in the snow were rescued by troops of the 3 Infantry Division. The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Latif,District Social Welfare Officer at Leh,and A Balakrishnan,a tourist from Bangalore. Balakrishnans wife is recovering in hospital.
Confirming the incident,Lehs Deputy Commissioner Ajit Kumar Sahu said the other passengers were safe and were being brought to Leh through a different route. The victims were on their way back from Pangong Lake to Leh when the tragedy struck.
According to Sahu,nearly 60 vehicles had gone to Pangong Lake on Tuesday. On the return journey,one of the vehicles developed a snag. The drivers of the vehicles caught behind this vehicle came out to help. They were reportedly pushing the vehicle when the avalanche occurred at around 3.15 pm on Tuesday. About 12 vehicles were caught in the avalanche.
While Mohammad Latif died en route to Tangtse,after having been prov-ided first aid at Changla Army detachment,Balakrishnans body was recovered from under the snow Wednesday morning.
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