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Uttarakhand avalanche death toll climbs to 9, air rescue operations underway

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Uttarakhand avalanche death toll climbs to 9, air rescue operations underway
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As many as nine people have died after an avalanche hit Draupadi Ka Danda peak in Uttarakashi district on Tuesday, Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering (NIM) said. However, 22 people are still missing.

"A total of 9 bodies have been recovered, including four that were brought down on Oct 4 & 5 that were retrieved today. As many as 29 trainees are still stranded," NIM said in a statement.

A team of the Indian Army along with the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are on standby for rescue operations. As per reports, bodies would be brought to Matali helipad from Draupadi Ka Danda peak. A total of nine bodies have been recovered, out of which four were confirmed earlier.

More teams were sent to the advanced base camp from ITBP Matli, Uttarakashi. A team of High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) also joined the search and rescue operations today with ITBP, SDRF, NIM & NDRF. An advanced helicopter landing ground is prepared at 16000 ft and a trial landing was successful today morning.

An expert team from Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir has also started operations along with SDRF, ITBP, and NIM to rescue trainee mountaineers of NIM who are still missing.

Meanwhile, the district administration of Uttarkashi has banned trekking and mountaineering activities for the next three days due to the meteorological department's rain and snow alert.

The bodies of four people, including two instructors and trainees, have been recovered. Ace mountaineer Savita Kanswal, who had set a national record by climbing Mount Everest and Mount Makalu within a span of 15 days, was among those killed in the avalanche at Draupadi ka Danda-II in Uttarkashi district. Another instructor, Naumi Rawat, from Bhukki village, was also among the deceased. The other two bodies are those of trainees, though their identities have not been disclosed.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday did an aerial inspection of the area, which is at a height of 17,000 feet, that was hit by an avalanche on Tuesday and told reporters that 27 climbers are still missing.

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TAGS:Uttarakhand air rescue operations 
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