Quake Toll Crosses 600 In J&K: Official
9 October 2005
Srinagar: The confirmed earthquake death toll crossed 600 in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, a state government official said, warning the figure would probably rise further.'More than 600 people have died in the devastating earthquake so far,' a senior state government official told AFP, asking not to be named. 'We also have more than 1,000 injured in various hospitals,' he said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise as army rescue teams struggled to reach remote areas in the north of the Himalayan state. More than 300 people died in the worst-hit area, Uri, with rescue workers yet to reach several nearby villages, he said. The official said among the victims were 54 soldiers, who died when a border post caved in along the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Around the same number of soldiers were injured, he said. The overall toll also includes 54 labourers hired to build roads for the Indian army. 'Most of them died when a truck carrying them was hit by boulders let loose by the earthquake,' the official said. He said the bodies of some of the labourers were recovered from a ravine. Initial estimates say over 5,000 homes collapsed in Jammu and Kashmir after Saturday morning's earthquake which registered 7.6 on the Richter scale.