Wed, 30 Nov 2022

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], October 7 (ANI): The death toll in the Uttarkashi avalanche rose to 26 after seven more bodies of trainees were recovered on Friday from Draupadi ka Danda mountain peak in Uttarakhand, where an avalanche hit a team of mountaineers on October 4 morning.

According to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), as many as 29 persons including two instructors and 27 trainees were stranded and the search and rescue operation is in progress for the search of the remaining three trainees.

"Search and Rescue operation is in progress at the disaster site. Helibome operation is ON. Evacuation of dead bodies by helicopter will be done depending on the weather conditions. Search and rescue in progress for remaining 03 Trainees," the NIM said in a statement.

Personnel from various teams of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), the Air Force, the Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and the High Altitude War School in Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir have been deployed in the rescue operations.

Earlier in the day, the rescue operation was delayed due to bad weather conditions.

Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhatwadi, Chatar Singh said that four more bodies of the trainee mountaineers were brought on Friday morning, which will be taken for post-mortem.

Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said that efforts are being made to bring the bodies to Matli helipad by Advanced Light Helicopter today.

Mountaineers from the NIM participating in a training course were trapped in a glacier crevice on Tuesday morning after an avalanche hit the peak. The team was returning after summiting.

NIM's advanced training course team included trainees and instructors.

On Tuesday, about 41 trainees and instructors of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering were hit by an avalanche. The institute said that the Advanced Mountaineering Course commenced on September 14 at NIM Uttarkashi.

The course moved to the mountain on September 23 with 41 people- 34 trainees and 7 instructors and one nursing assistant and arrived at the Base Camp on September 25. As per the training programme, the course went on for high altitude training from October 2-October 4. After summiting the 5670 metre altitude Mt Draupadi ka Danda II the team was on its way back when the avalanche struck at around 8; 45 am above camp 1 in which 34 trainees and 7 instructors got caught in it, according to a release by the NIM on October 4.

On Wednesday, the survivors of the avalanche in Uttarkashi narrated their horrific experiences.

Deep Thakur, a trainee from Gujarat, who survived the accident while undergoing treatment at the district hospital, said that the avalanche came all of a sudden while he was climbing to Draupadi's Danda Peak for a summit at around 9.45 am, due to which he along with his companions fell into the crevasses about 60 feet deep, where he struggled between death and life for about 3 hours.

Another survivor, Akash Lalvani, a trainee from Mumbai, told that he was only about 100 meters below the summit of Draupadi's Danda and the only plan was to summit the peak and get down after being photographed there, because the weather was also clear. But the sudden avalanche has left them with unforgettable sorrow. (ANI)

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