A total of 19 bodies have so far been recovered in rescue operations at the Draupadi ka Danda mountain peak, in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district, where an avalanche hit a team of mountaineers on October 4 morning, according to officials.
"A total of 19 bodies have been recovered from the crevice. Efforts are being made to bring the bodies to Matli helipad by Advanced Light Helicopter today," Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar told ANI.
Out of the 19 bodies, four bodies were brought to the summit camp by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) team deployed for the rescue operation, while 15 bodies were recovered at the place of the incident.
"From the summit camp, according to SDRF constable, Sunil four bodies have been brought to the summit camp by the team," said DGP Ashok Kumar. 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, the official said.
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 Thursday 12 more bodies were recovered. Of the bodies recovered 14 were of trainees and two were instructors, Uttarakhand Police said. Earlier, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said condoled the deaths of mountaineers.
Speaking to ANI. "The rescue teams are working continuously and I am monitoring the situation", the chief minister said. 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.