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Lieutenant colonel among 2 dead in Sikkim avalanche

New Delhi:Two men have died in the avalanche in Lugnak La region of north Sikkim.

They were trapped under the snow and were missing. They are Lt Col Robert TA and Sapper/OPEM Sapala Shanmukha Rao.

All other members of the team are safe.

As many as 15 Indian Army personnel were rescued following the avalanche on Thursday.

As per initial reports, a patrol-cum-snow clearance team of 17 soldiers was trapped under the snow.

The Lugnak La is 16,700-foot-high Himalayan pass. In the past one week, this is the third incident in north Sikkim, a high plateau abutting China. Apart from a clash between Indian and Chinese troops recently, six occupants had survived a ‘hard-landing’ by a Dhruv helicopter.

Meanwhile, the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) has made operational weather and avalanche forecasting for critical sites in Sikkim, which has been experiencing climatic changes and deviation in snow precipitation.