Amid the ongoing rescue operations at 15th Mile in Jawaharlal Nehru road connecting Gangtok with Nathula in Sikkim by the security forces, another avalanche hits the same place at around 5.35 pm on Tuesday.
Subsequently, rescue and search operations are now halted.
The Jawaharlal Nehru road is closed till snow cleared, an army official said in a press statement.
“All personnel involved in the humanitarian mission are safe,” the statement reads.
On Tuesday at about 11.10 AM, a massive avalanche hit the Gangtok-Nathula JNM Road near MS 15. Approximately 5-6 vehicles along with 20-30 tourists on way to Natu La are feared to have been buried under the snow.
Troops of Trishakti Corps, Indian Army and team of BRO Project SWASTIK swung into action immediately and launched an all-out rescue mission.
23 tourists rescued till 4 PM including 6 from deep valley and shifted to nearby medical facilities of the Indian Army.
Unfortunately, seven persons have succumbed.
In addition, 350 stranded tourists and 80 vehicles rescued after snow clearance from road.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his condolences to the families of those who died in the massive avalanche in Sikkim and said that the Centre is closely monitoring the situation.
Amit Shah said that teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will reach the affected area soon.
Taking to Twitter, Amit Shah said, “My sincerest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the tragic avalanche in Sikkim. We are closely monitoring the situation and the teams of NDRF will reach the affected area soon. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured,” Shah said in a tweet.