350 stranded passengers rescued in Kashmir

Srinagar, Nov 26 (Inditop.com) At least 350 passengers stranded at the Zojilla pass in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gandherbal district due to heavy snowfall have been rescued, police said Thursday.

“More than 150 constables and officers were deputed to save the lives of 350 stranded passengers who were stuck inside vehicles between Captain Morh and Gumri on the Zojilla Pass,” Ganderbal district Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussain said.

“In extreme weather conditions accompanied by stormy winds and heavy snowfall the rescue operation saved the lives of 350 passengers who had undertaken the journey from Kargil to cross the mountainous Zojilla Pass yesterday (Wednesday),” he said.

“The vehicles had been stranded due to extremely slippery conditions,” Hussain told IANS.

The officer said policemen had to literally push the vehicles to save the stranded passengers most of whom were labourers from Nepal and Bihar.

“They were ill-clad wearing summer clothes and would have definitely not survived the freezing temperatures had they not been evacuated in time,” he said.

He also said that while other vehicles were removed from the avalanche and blizzard prone area on the Zojilla Pass, 11 could not be moved and had to be parked on the mountain pass in non-avalanche prone areas.

“There are no more passengers stranded anywhere in the area. Two of our boys were injured during the evacuation,” he said.

The rescue operations were completed Wednesday morning, he said.