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At least 13 people, including 10 trekkers, dead due to snowfall in Uttarakhand

The rescuers compromising State Disaster Response Force and air force personnel spotted five of the bodies near Lamkhaga Pass on Thursday morning
Rescue workers taking an injured trekker rescued from Lamkhaga Pass to hospital on Thursday (HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 21, 2021 05:10 PM IST
ByVipin Negi, BD Kasniyal and Kalyan Das

At least 13 people, including 10 trekkers, have died at separate places in Uttarakhand after getting trapped due to snowfall in the mountainous region, officials said on Thursday. The dead include three porters working for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), posted along the India-China border in Uttarkashi district. Five people have been rescued while six remain missing.

One of the trekkers’ groups went missing en route to Lamkhaga Pass near Harsil in Uttarkashi district, 230 km from Dehradun, on October 14. Of the nine porters accompanying them, six managed to return safely. They informed the authorities about the three missing porters and eight trekkers.

District disaster management officer (Uttarkashi) Devendra Patwal said the rescuers compromising State Disaster Response Force and air force personnel spotted five of the bodies near Lamkhaga Pass on Thursday morning. “The bodies will soon be airlifted from the spot,” he said. “The rescue workers managed to rescue one of the trekkers who was found alive there. He has been shifted to the army hospital in the district.” Seven of these eight missing trekkers were from West Bengal while one was from Delhi.

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Bodies of the three porters accompanying the ITBP personnel to their posts near the border, who went missing on October 17, were recovered on Thursday. They were brought to the ITBP base on an air force chopper. “They were identified as Sanjay Singh, 24, Rajendra Singh, 25 and Dinesh Chauhan, 23. All were residents of Uttarakashi,” said Patwal.

The porters left for the border with ITBP men on October 15. On October 17, they got separated due to heavy snowfall and went missing. The ITBP informed the district administration on Tuesday evening after which the chopper was sent to rescue them.

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In the Bageshwar district, five trekkers died while four were rescued near the Sunderdhunga glacier. “Over 65 tourists are trapped in higher reaches of Bageshwar, including 20 at Kafni and 34 at Dwali glacier besides the 10 at Sunderdhunga. We have sent three rescue teams from the district along with one helicopter and one NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team from Dehradun to rescue the tourists, who are mostly from Kolkata,” said Shikha Suyal, district disaster management officer (Bageshwar).

“One of the rescue teams has reached Dwali glacier and rescued 22 tourists trapped there, who have now been taken to a safe place. The efforts to rescue other trapped tourists at Dwali glacier are on.”

Over 50 people have separately died in Uttarakhand due to rain-related incidents this week. Unseasonal rain led to flash flood in the state’s Ramgarh, and several other regions were hit by landslides. In multiple places, bridges were washed away, and some roads blocked.

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