Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Uttarakhand: Avalanche In Uttarkashi Kills 10 Mountaineers, Eight Rescued So Far

The NDRF, the Indian Army, the ITBP, among others, are engaged in a joint rescue operation for 29 mountaineers trapped in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district.

Heavy Snowfall Triggers Avalanche Alert In Jammu & Kashmir
Avalanche traps mountaineers in Uttarakhand.(File photo-Representational image) PTI Photo | S Irfan

Ten mountaineers have been killed in an avalanche in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district on Tuesday, according to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM).

The avalanche struck Draupadi Ka Danda peak in Uttarkashi. It was initally reported that 29 mountaineers from NIM were trapped and eight had been rescued in ongoing rescue operations. 

The eight mountaineers were rescued by their team members and efforts are on to bring the rest to safety, said Uttarkashi Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal. 

The team consisted of 34 trainee mountaineers from NIM and seven trainers, said Patwal. 

Bodies of 10 mountaineers have been sighted and four have been recovered so far.

Draupadi Ka Danda is located at a height of 5,006 metres. The avalanche occured at 8:45 am on Tuesday.        

Central personnel have joined rescue efforts

The  National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and a team of mountaineers from the NIM have launched rescue operations, said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Twitter. 

Dhami has also spoken to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and has sought the help of the Indian Army in expediting the rescue operations.

In a separete tweet, Singh said he has instructed the Indian Air Force to join the relief and rescue operations. 

Status of rescue efforts

The SDRF said a team of five SDRF and three NIM instructors were dropped off at the institute's Dokrani Bamak glacier base camp to conduct the search and rescue operation. 

Two helicopters from the IAF base camp in Uttar Pradesh's Sarsawa also conducted a recce of the avalanche site before returning to Harshil helipad. 

Rescue operations have been halted for the night due to darkness and bad weather.

An Army ALH helicopter from Air Force Station in Barreily is also waiting at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) helipad in Matli to join the search and rescue operation on Wednesday morning. 

(With PTI inputs)