At least seven tourists were killed and 16 others rescued after a massive avalanche hit the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim on Tuesday afternoon and buried their vehicles under the snow, a senior official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Mahendra Rawat, a Defense Ministry spokesperson based in India’s northeast, said in a statement that at about 11.10 a.m. local time (0810GMT), a massive avalanche hit the Gangtok-Natu La Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg Road, burying approximately 5-6 vehicles with tourists, who were on their way to Natu La, a major tourist destination.
Indian Army troops and members of the Border Roads organization swung into action right away and launched an all-out rescue mission, he said.
At least 23 tourists were rescued until 4 p.m., including six from the deep valley, and were shifted to nearby Indian Army medical facilities, where seven people died.
The army, State Disaster Management Team, and police are searching for the remaining people.
Furthermore, 350 stranded tourists and 80 vehicles were rescued after the road was cleared of snow.
Source: Anadolu Agency