10 mountaineers killed in U'khand avalanche, 8 rescued

Avalanche. Representational image.

Uttarkashi: Ten mountaineers were killed in an avalanche at Mount Draupadi Ka Danda-II peak in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district on Tuesday, officials said.   

A team of 34 trainee mountaineers and seven instructors from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) was caught in an avalanche while returning, NIM Principal Colonel Amit Bisht said.

Ten bodies were sighted, of which four have been recovered, he added.

The avalanche occurred at 8.45 am, he said.   

Uttarkashi Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal said eight of those trapped were rescued by their team members. 

The National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and a team of mountaineers from the NIM have launched rescue operations, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said in a tweet. 

"The Indian Air Force is doing an aerial recce of the

mountain where this happened. It is not easy to reach the spot,"

Uttarakhand police chief Ashok Kumar said.

The chief minister also spoke to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the phone and sought the help of the army in expediting rescue operations.

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