Seven people, including a child and a woman, have been killed and many others are feared trapped under snow after a massive avalanche near Sikkim’s Nathu La mountain pass today.
“23 tourists rescued till 4 PM including 6 from deep valley and shifted to nearby medical facilities of Indian Army. Unfortunately, seven persons have succumbed,” the Army said in a statement.
Approximately 5-6 vehicles along with 20-30 tourists on way to Nathu La are feared to have been stuck under the snow, said the Army.
The avalanche struck around 11.10 AM at 15th Mile in Jawaharlal Nehru road connecting Gangtok with Nathu La when at least 150 tourists were in the area.
Nathu La Pass, at a height of 4,310 metres (14,140 feet) above sea level, is situated on the border with China and is a major tourist destination.
In one of the videos, someone is seen scooping up snow with a shovel as a man, half buried, looks up to be rescued.
Search and rescue mission for those missing is underway by the Army, State Disaster Management Team and Police.
Around 350 stranded tourists have also been rescued after snow was cleared from the road.