Five people have been killed and several others have been injured in an avalanche in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. A minibus has been trapped in the avalanche. There is no information yet on how many passengers were there in the vehicle.

Rescue and relief operations are underway and police officers have been rushed to the spot. Three people are said to have been rescued so far. The Bhaderwah-Basholi highway has reportedly been closed.

The incident happened when the bus was crossing Bani town to Bhaderwah got hit by an avalanche at Chattar Gali, which is nearly 40 km from Bhaderwah town. The minivan was swept into a gorge. The incident took place in the early hours on Thursday.

In a report in Kashmir observer, a police spokesman has been quoted as saying: “Four passengers died and 10 were injured when a mini bus, on way from Bani to Bhaderwah, hit an ice block as the driver lost control of the vehicle and rolled down into 800-feet deep gorge near Dandi Nalla.”

As per reports, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) workers in the area along with some other locals started to rescue those trapped. They also informed the police seeking help to rescue the victims.

There have been several cases of avalanches that have been reported from Kashmir this year. Fourteen soldiers had been swept away in Gurez, Bandipora earlier this year. In January, 5 soldiers were caught buried under snow in the Macchil sector of Kupwara. Though they were pulled out alive, they succumbed to injuries two days later.