Girl is found alive 18 hours after she was buried by an avalanche that killed her brother and sister

Girl, 12, is found alive 18 hours after she was buried by an avalanche that killed her brother and sister when it crushed her family home in Pakistan

  • Samina Bibi screamed and called for help when she was trapped on Monday
  • Avalanche in Pakistan’s Neelum Valley, has risen to 74 today after rescue efforts 
  • Samina suffered a broken leg and was unable to sleep while trapped for hours
  • Her family didn’t hear a rumble before their little house was engulfed in snow 

A 12-year-old girl was found alive on Wednesday after being buried for 18 hours when an avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir engulfed the family house.

Samina Bibi recalled screaming and shouting for help as she lay trapped in a room under the snow.

The death toll from Monday’s avalanches in Pakistan’s Neelum Valley, in the Himalayan region disputed by Pakistan and India, rose to 74, according to Pakistani officials, as rescuers continued to recover bodies.

Samina Bibi (pictured) recalled screaming and shouting for help as she lay trapped in a room under the snow on Monday in Pakistan’s Neelum Valley

Local residents gather next to a body of an avalanche victim covered in plastic as they search for other victims in the snow after heavy snow in Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on January 15, 2020

Local residents gather next to a body of an avalanche victim covered in plastic as they search for other victims in the snow after heavy snow in Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on January 15, 2020

Samina was one of the lucky ones. ‘I thought I would die there,’ she told Reuters from a hospital bed in Muzaffarabad, where she and dozens of other injured people were receiving treatment after being airlifted out of the avalanche area.

For Samina’s mother, Shahnaz Bibi, who lost a son and another daughter, the 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.

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

For the family, the disaster happened very fast. ‘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.

Samina and her family were huddled round a fire when the avalanche hit. ‘It happened in the blink of an eye,’ said Shahnaz.

Local residents search for the avalanche victims in the snow in Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on January 15, 2020

Local residents search for the avalanche victims in the snow in Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on January 15, 2020

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) looks at a young injured avalanche victim at a military hospital in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) looks at a young injured avalanche victim at a military hospital in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said the total number of deaths in snow-hit areas in Pakistan over the last couple of days had jumped to 100. More heavy snowfall is expected in the region from Friday.

Another 10 people were killed in the Indian part of the Kashmir valley.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947. In 2012, an avalanche engulfed a Pakistani army headquarters near the Indian border, killing at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilians.

Local resident prepare to offer funeral prayers for an avalanche victim during heavy snowfall in Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on January 15, 2020

Local resident prepare to offer funeral prayers for an avalanche victim during heavy snowfall in Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on January 15, 2020

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