Guwahati: Seven people, incuding a child and a woman, have been killed and many others are feared trapped under snow after a massive avalanche near Sikkim’s Nathu La mountain pass today.
“By 3 PM, 14 persons were rescued and taken to nearby Army medical facility. However, seven persons succumbed. The other seven persons were administered first aid and returned to Gangtok,” the Army said in a statement.
Approximately 5-6 vehicles along with 20-30 tourists on way to Nathu La are feared to have been stuck under the snow, said the Army.
The avalanche struck around 12.15 pm at 15th Mile in Jawaharlal Nehru road connecting Gangtok with Nathu La when at least 150 tourists were in the area.
Nathu La Pass, at a height of 4,310 metres (14,140 feet) above sea level, is situated on the border with China and is a major tourist destination.
Videos from the site showed the magnitude of the tragedy. Dozens of people could be seen involved in rescue operations and trying to dig out those who are trapped.
In one of the videos, someone is seen scooping up snow with a shovel as a man, half buried, looks up to be rescued.
Search and rescue mission for those missing is underway by the Army, State Disaster Management Team and Police.