Uttarakhand-Himachal Tragedy: 11 Missing Trekkers Dead, Massive Rescue Operations by IAF Underway

A search to locate and rescue the remaining missing individuals will be undertaken by the ALH crew on Saturday.

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New Delhi: A massive rescue operation has been launched by the Indian Air Force in Uttarakhand's Lamkhaga Pass at an altitude of 17,000 feet where a group of 17 trekkers lost their way on October 18 due to heavy snowfall and inclement weather, news platforms reported. Eleven bodies have been recovered so far from the area leading to the Lamkhaga Pass - one of the most treacherous passes connecting the Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh with Harsil in Uttarakhand.

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The IAF was responding to an SOS call made by authorities on October 20 and deployed two Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) choppers to reach Harsil - a tourist hill station in the state. The search and rescue began on October 20 with three personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) onboard the ALH craft at its maximum permissible altitude of 19,500 feet in the afternoon, NDTV reported.

Search and rescue for remaining persons on Saturday

Search and rescue teams from Uttarkashi spotted five bodies of trekkers on Thursday, while two members of the team were found dead by a rescue team in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkashi district disaster management officer Devendra Patwal said. Two more bodies have been located and are being brought back by a joint patrol of Dogra Scouts, 4 Assam, and two ITBP teams on foot to the Nithal Thach camp. A search to locate and rescue the remaining missing individuals will be undertaken by the ALH crew on Saturday.

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The rescue teams have handed over the bodies to the local police. The team consisting of eight trekkers -- one from Delhi and the rest from West Bengal -- and three cooks went missing on a trek to Chitkul recently. They had begun the trek from Harsil in Uttarkashi district on October 11 and were to reach Chitkul via Lamkhaga pass.

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Members of the trekking team included Anita Rawat (38) from Delhi, Mithun Dari (31) from West Bengal, Tanmay Tiwari (30), Vikash Makal (33), Saurav Ghosh (34), Saviayan Das (28), Richard Mandal (30) and Suken Manjhi (43), all from Kolkata. The cooking staff have been identified as Devendra (37), Gyan Chandra (33) and Upendra (32) all from Purola in Uttarkashi.

(With inputs from agency)

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Published Date:October 23, 2021 12:35 AM IST

Updated Date:October 23, 2021 12:44 AM IST

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