At least seven trekkers out of 11 who went missing during an avalanche on the Harsil-Chitkul trek route were found dead. Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar confirmed that two trekkers were rescued and two still remain missing
Five more bodies were recovered from another group of 11 trekkers that went missing from Lamkhaga Pass. Amid heavy snowfall in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district, trekkers from West Bengal and Delhi went missing in two separate incidents on October 18.
Air Force Conducts Rescue Ops
On October 20, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had responded to an SOS call by civic authorities, following which two Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) had reached Harsil in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand for rescue operations. A search was undertaken with three NDRF personnel onboard, operating at the maximum permissible altitude of ALH aircraft at 19,500 ft in the afternoon hours.
An ALH was airborne once again on October 21 with SDRF personnel and was able to locate two rescue sites. It inducted the rescue team at an altitude of 15,700 ft where mortal remains of four were found. The helicopter then moved to another location and rescued a survivor who was unable to move from around 16,800 ft.
Authorities recover bodies of five trekkers buried in snow
The trekkers had left Harshil in adjoining Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi for Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur on October 14 but reportedly went missing during inclement weather from October 17 to 19 in Lamkhaga pass, a senior official said. The porters lost their way while returning from the patrol and got separated from the ITBP team, District Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal told PTI.
The deputy commissioner said that the bodies of five trekkers were found buried in snow in different places by the rescue team. The bodies were gathered at one place and would be sent to Uttarkashi via helicopter on Friday, he added.
A team of eight trekkers from West Bengal, one from Delhi, and three cooks left from Harshil on October 11 through a trekking agency. They had obtained an inner line permit from the Uttarkashi Forest Department from October 13 to 21. Some of the team members have been identified as Anita Rawat (38) from Delhi, and Mithun Dari (31), Tanmay Tiwari (30), Vikash Makal (33) Saurav Ghosh (34), Saviayan Das (28), Richard Mandal (30) and Suken Manjhi (43) from Kolkata