New Delhi, Apr 4 (EFE).- At least four people died and a dozen suffered injuries on Tuesday in a snow avalanche that hit a mountain pass in India’s Himalayan state of Sikkim near the border with China, said an officer.
Police officer Sonam Detchu Bhutia told EFE that rescuers found 19 people trapped in the avalanche in the northeastern state.
“And out of that four or five died in the hospital,” said the officer in the Gangtok district where the incident occurred.
The avalanche hit the mountain pass of Nathula that connects India’s Sikkim and Tibet.
The 4,000-meter pass is very popular with tourists.
Bhutia said the police and military personnel launched a joint rescue operation as the authorities ascertained how many people were trapped.
“There is no exact information (about the number of missing) because as far as the last report came to us, 15 to 20 persons were playing with the snow, all tourists, when the avalanche hit the area,” said the police officer.
Local broadcaster NDTV aired footage of the rescue operations, with members of the security forces and residents rescuing people buried in piles of snow on a hillside.
In one of the worst events of its kind in India, more than 50 people died in February 2021 after an avalanche hit a Himalayan valley.
The melting of a massive snow mass from Mt Nanda Devi, one of the highest peaks of the Indian Himalayas, triggered the avalanche. EFE