Two girls survive 18 hours under snow in AJK

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Both the victims along with other injured persons were shifted to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital, also referred to as Combined Military Hospital (CMH). — AFP/File
Both the victims along with other injured persons were shifted to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital, also referred to as Combined Military Hospital (CMH). — AFP/File

MUZAFFARABAD: Two girls, aged six and 12, were rescued alive on Wednesday after surviving more than 18 hours under debris when avalanches hit their houses in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Samina, 12, was rescued from Bakwali village while six-year-old Safia was found alive in Seri village of Surgan area. Both the victims along with other injured persons were shifted to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital, also referred to as Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

According to Dr Adnan Mehraj, who operated upon Safia, the six-year-old had fractures in her skull and orbital bones besides injuries to her left leg.

Samina said she could not sleep while she waited to be rescued. Her leg was fractured and blood was oozing from her mouth, Reuters adds.

Recalling screaming and shouting for help as she lay trapped in a room under the snow, she said: “I thought I would die there.”

For her mother, Shahnaz Bibi, who lost a son and another daughter, her rescue was nothing short of a miracle. After being pulled out of the snow earlier, Shahnaz said she and her brother, Irshad Ahmad, had given up hope of finding Samina alive.

“We didn’t hear a rumble,” Shahnaz said, recalling the moments before the avalanche buried the three-storey house where she and her family were sheltering with others from the village. At least 18 of them died.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020