9 people go missing in avalanche

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Earlier in the day, five bodies were recovered from a spot in Kupwara where a auto carrying six people swept away by a huge avalanche of snow. Last month, three soldiers went missing when an avalanche hit their outpost Gurez - their bodies recovered days later.

An official on Friday said that bad weather was hampering search and rescue operation.

"Locals know the terrain of the area and worked hard with the joint rescue team".

Locals protested against the authorities, demanding construction of a tunnel to avoid frequent accident on the Kupwara-Tangdhar road, particularly at Sadhna top. A Beacon officer's body was found on Friday evening, he said. An official statement said that she has directed the Kupwara district administration to ensure all possible medical assistance to those injured in the accident.

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Meanwhile, Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Floriculture, Javaid Mustafa Mir, today announced a compensation under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the snow avalanche, an official spokesperson said.

The Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 12600 each to the injured persons.

In another avalanche hit, seven persons on board a Sumo vehicle bearing registration number JK09A- 3249, were buried under snow when the vehicle they were travelling in came under an avalanche at Khoni Nallah near Sadhna Top.

Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti also expressed grief and prayed for peace to the departed souls.

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