12 trekkers dead in Uttarakhand; Air Force continues rescue operation
At least 12 people from two groups have died and several others are missing since they lost their way while trekking in Uttarakhand earlier this month due to extreme weather and heavy snowfall. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been pressed into action and the force has deployed two Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) choppers to reach Harsil. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
- More than 50 people have died in Uttarakhand in separate rain-related incidents in recent days.
- Heavy rainfall this month led to flash flooding, landslides, and blockade of roads in several areas across the state, causing great damage.
- State Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced compensation and also met with the families affected by the rains.
- Rains in the state have since eased.
An SOS call on October 20
The Air Force had responded to an emergency call on Wednesday (October 20). Three personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) aboard the ALH craft then began the search and rescue operation. The next day, four bodies and a survivor were found after members of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) managed to locate two rescue sites.
Search on for others missing
On Friday, the crew rescued a survivor and recovered five dead bodies in four shuttles from a height of 16,500 feet. Two more bodies have since been recovered and are being brought back by a joint patrol of Dogra Scouts and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) teams. A search for the remaining people will be undertaken on Saturday.
Survivors undergoing treatment
The bodies have been handed over by the rescue teams to the local police. Meanwhile, the survivors have been administered first aid at Harsil before being sent to the district hospital in Uttarkashi.
Team started trekking on October 11
One of the groups had begun the trek from Harsil in Uttarkashi on October 11 and were expecting to reach Chitkul via Lamkhaga Pass. Members of the team included Anita Rawat, Mithun Dari, Tanmay Tiwari, Vikash Makal, Saurav Ghosh, Saviayan Das, Richard Mandal, Suken Manjhi, Devendra, Gyan Chandra, and Upendra. They included tourists, porters, guides, and cooks.