350 stranded tourists, locals at Zojila Pass rescued by Army

Srinagar, Nov 22 (PTI) About 350 tourists and locals, stranded at the Zojila pass due to heavy snowfall, have been rescued by army personnel, officials said on Friday.

Visitors to the area got stuck as regions around the pass like Sonamarg, Baltal and Nilgrar received heavy snowfall since Thursday which also led to traffic jams at many places, they said.

'About 300-350 people, including women and children, were stranded at heights above 11,000 feet where temperature hovers around minus 7 degrees. A number of trucks and other vehicles got stuck in traffick jams.' 'In coordination with the civil administration, army rescue columns moved in vehicles promptly to rescue the stranded civilians from the Zojila Pass,' a senior army official said.

The army personnel also provided medical assistance, hot food and blankets to the affected people.

The police and GREF (general reserve engineer force) took up the task of clearing the traffic and snow respectively, they said.

Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway. PTI NES RCJ