Five soldiers swept away in heavy snowfall near the frontier posts in Kupwara and Bandipora remained untraced after more than 24 hours on Tuesday, while an Army porter’s body was recovered.“Two soldiers slipped down the slope in the Naugam sector of Kupwara. Three soldiers went missing from a forward post in the Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in Bandipora,” a Srinagar-based Army spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, told The Hindu.An Army official said an 11-member patrol team of 36 Rashtriya Rifles was on an inter-post movement around 8.30 p.m. on Monday when three jawans slipped into a ravine. The posts are close to the Line of Control in the Bakhtor area, more than 200 km from here, of Gurez.“A specialist team from the High Altitude Warfare School reached the site and started rescue operations, which are still on,” the official said.Two soldiers of a patrol team of an officer and 10 troopers of 20 Dogra fell into a ravine at Naugam around 5 p.m. on Monday. The specialist team was unable to reach the site on Tuesday because of heavy snowfall, officials said. Preliminary reports suggest heavy snowfall, which started on Monday, caused these accidents. Over four feet of snow has accumulated in these areas. Ghulam Qadir Khan, an Army porter from Kilshey village of Tulail, fell to death during snowfall. The body has been recovered.Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Sajjad Hussain on Tuesday asked people in the Gurez and Tulail areas not to venture out in avalanche-prone areas till the weather improved.Snow in the plainsThe plains of Kashmir Valley also witnessed the season’s first snow spell in the past 24 hours, badly affecting road connectivity. The national highways connecting Srinagar to Jammu, Leh and Poonch, besides the Mughal-Sinthan Top, Jammu-Doda and Arnas-Mahore highways are closed.“Men with machinery are busy clearing snow for vehicular movement,” said Colonel Awadhesh Singh, Director, Works, Project Beacon, Border Roads Organisation. Sonum Lotus, Director, Meteorological Department, said Kashmir would witness “a gradual improvement in the weather conditions from Wednesday”.