Wednesday, 4 October, 2023

Four-year-old among 11 dead in Pakistan avalanche

Four-year-old among 11 dead in Pakistan avalanche

At least 11 people from a nomadic tribe, including a four-year-old boy, have been killed in an avalanche in northern Pakistan.

The snow struck as the group crossed a mountainous area in the Shounter Pass with their goat herds.

A further 25 people have been injured and a rescue operation is ongoing.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the deaths, and said incidents such as avalanches were increasing due to climate change.

The avalanche happened in the early hours of Saturday in part of the pass that bridges the Astore district of the Gilgit Baltistan region to neighbouring Azad Kashmir, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Four women and a four-year-old boy were among those who died, senior police officer Ziarat Ali said, as quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

Rescue teams have faced challenges in reaching the area due to its remote location and difficult terrain.

Troops have been helping local officials with the rescue operation, and two military helicopters were scrambled. According to witnesses, local residents also joined the effort to rescue people trapped under the snow.