Three persons were killed when an avalanche hit them amid a snow-clearance exercise along the Aru-Pahalgam road in Anantnag district.
One person was rescued but he succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital. The bodies of other two victims were recovered later.According to officials, the incident took place at 4 pm on Friday at Gudkhamb point along the Aru-Pahalgam road. 'Three persons, along with a bulldozer they were using to clear the snow, were swept away into the gorge by an avalanche,' an official in the Anantnag district administration said. 'Helicopters were requisitioned for assistance in the rescue operation, he said.
Intermittent spells of rain and snow have brought life to a standstill in Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts. The Jammu-Srinagar national highway, which passes through Ramban district, has been closed due to heavy snow near Jawahar Tunnel and other areas of Banihal.
The Batote-Kishtwar national highway was also closed for traffic after a landslide hit Assar and Raggi Nullah areas of Doda district due to heavy rain and snow. Though the debris was cleared, no vehicle was allowed to ply on the highway.
'Due to landslides at several places and accumulation of snow, we stopped traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar and Batote-Kishtwar highways. No Kashmir-bound vehicle is allowed beyond Udhampur and people have been advised to follow directions of the traffic department,' said a traffic police officer.
The continuous blockade of road is leading to a crisis of essential commodities in far-flung areas.