GILGIT – Avalanche hit Pakistan north and killed 11 people, including a 4-year-old boy, and injured 25 people from a nomadic tribe as they crossed the mountainous area with their herd of goats.
The landslide hit the travelers in the Chambeli area of the Shounter Pass which connects the Astore district of Baltistan’s Gilgit region with the Azad Kashmir border region.
“Four women and a boy aged 4 years are among the dead,” said senior police officer Gilgit Baltistan, Ziarat Ali, as quoted by the Associated Press, Sunday (28/5/2023).
It is said by Ali that the travelers were carrying their flock of goats on foot from Kel area in Azad Kashmir to Astore, when they were caught in an avalanche in the early hours of the morning.
Deputy police chief in the region, Tufail Mir, said rescue teams were having trouble reaching areas hit by the avalanche and troops were assisting local authorities.
A rescue operation involving two military helicopters facing rough terrain and an altitude of about 4,270 meters above sea level.
“The bodies of the dead and injured were transported to ambulances 5 kilometers away,” said Ali.
Witnesses said local residents joined rescue teams in recovering the victims.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a statement expressed sorrow for the casualties and directed officials to provide the best possible medical care to the injured.