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Updated: February 10, 2010 12:42 IST

Bodies of 17 army personnel killed in avalanche sent home

PTI
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AP

Bodies of 17 army personnel, including an officer, killed in an avalanche at Khilanmarg in North Kashmir on Monday were flown to their home towns by two special flights on Wednesday.

The bodies of the personnel were brought to Srinagar late last evening, Defence Spokesman Colonel J. S. Bar said.

He said four of the personnel belonged to Jammu and four to Punjab. Nine bodies were flown to Delhi where from they would be flown to Rajasthan, Manipur, Nepal, Indore and Ranchi.

A massive avalanche had slammed the popular ski resort of Gulmarg on Monday, killing 17 soldiers and injuring an equal number when the tragedy struck troops during winter warfare training on steep slopes at Khilanmarg, 70 kms from here.

The avalanche came hurtling down on the 60-strong combat team as they were scaling the icy walls of high-altitude Khilanmarg peak in near zero visibility.

The condition of 17 injured soldiers was stable, Mr. Brar said.

The high altitude areas of the valley have been lashed by heavy snowfall since February 5 while the plains including Srinagar have been lashed by incessant rains and snow.

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