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Landslides block J&K highway; 700 vehicles stranded
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February 22, 2007 14:23 IST

Traffic on the 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained suspended for the second day on Thrusday following landslides triggered by incessant rains and snowfall at two places on the arterial road, officials said in Jammu.

The highway -- only surface link between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country, was closed on Wednesday following landslides at Panthyal, 168 km from Jammu, and heavy snowfall at Jawahar tunnel, 125 km from Jammu, a traffic control spokesman said.

"The highway is closed for the second day in view of landslides triggered by incessant rainfall at Panthyal area in Doda district, where over 700 vehicles are stranded," the official said.

The stranded vehicles included 225 passenger vehicles, he said, adding that the rainfall, which made major portion of the highway slippery, also claimed lives of two personnel, besides wounding a girl critically in an accident at Sher Bibi near Banihal.

Though the Border Roads Organisation pressed its men and machinery into service as and when the shooting of stones stopped, yet the clearance work continuously got disrupted by loose Panthal rocks.

Traffic movement was also disrupted in some interior routes of Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Poonch and Rajouri districts. The Met department has forecast rain or snow at few places in the state during the next 24 hours.
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