With the recovery of seven more bodies on Friday, the toll in the Uttarkashi avalanche reached 26. This has turned out to be one of the highest number of casualties in any mountaineering training/summit in the country. Three people who fell in a crevasse during the training course are still missing.
The army, ITBP, SDRF and air force teams who were engaged in rescue operations recovered four bodies on Wednesday, 15 on Thursday and seven more on Friday.
“Apart from finding 26 bodies, we airlifted 13 mountaineers from the spot and 17 mountaineers were rescued on foot. Search will continue for rest of the three-missing people,” said Devendra Patwal, disaster management officer Uttarkashi, who added that search and rescue operation will continue even on Saturday but the success will depend on the weather conditions.
“Heavy snowfall is taking place in the mountain which has affected the rescue even on Friday. Warning of adverse weather is there for next 48 hours,” he said.
The people who were caught in the avalanche were taking part in the Advance Mountaineering Course organised by the Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering at the Draupadi Ka Danda Mountain peak earlier this week. Starting on September 14, a total of 61 people, including trainees, instructors and a nursing assistant, were participating in the exercise.
As per training programme, the participants went for high-altitude training at Camp-1. As per training schedule on October 4, the course moved for High Altitude Navigation and height gain to Mount Draupadi ka Danda-II (5670m). While returning back from the mountain peak, the participants were met with an avalanche; 34 trainees and 7 instructors were caught under it.