Four trekkers from Karnataka die in Uttarakhand due to extreme weather conditions

Four trekkers from Karnataka lost their lives in Uttarakhand due to extreme weather conditions, a senior government officer said on Wednesday.
Representative image
Representative image

Uttarkashi | Four trekkers from Karnataka lost their lives in Uttarakhand due to extreme weather conditions, a senior government officer said on Wednesday.

A 22-member trekking team was sent by Himalayan View Trekking Agency, Maneri, on May 29 on a 35-km long trek from Uttarkashi.

The team was constituted by 18 trekkers from Karnataka and one from Maharashtra, besides three local guides, Uttarkashi District Magistrate Meharban Singh Bisht said.

Four trekkers died while the rescue operations were on to save others trapped at Sahasratal in Uttarakhand, the Principal Secretary in the Revenue Department, Rashmi Mahesh, told PTI.

She said the identity of those who died in the tragedy was not known.

According to her, the District Magistrate of Garhwal was monitoring the rescue operation.

Mahesh said a helicopter of the Indian Air Force has also been pressed into the service.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda left for Dehradun to monitor and coordinate the rescue operation.

In a statement released by his office, the minister said that a team of trekkers from Karnataka started their trek on Tuesday morning in the high altitude area of Shastratal Mayali in Uttarakhand. After reaching the destination, the team tried to return to the camp again. However, on the way back, the weather turned completely bad at 2 pm due to a blizzard and they were stranded.

"Last night, we came to know that Karnataka trekkers are in danger due to adverse weather conditions. As soon as we came to know about the matter, the Uttarakhand Government, Mountaineering Federation of India and the Home Department of the Central Government were contacted through the district administration. With their help, the rescue operation of Karnataka trekkers is being carried out," he said.

According to Gowda, emergency rescue operations started on Tuesday evening with the help of locally available helicopters. Also, an Indian Air Force helicopter reached Uttarkashi at 9 am on Wednesday to rescue the trekkers, and a disaster management team started moving towards the camp by land route this morning.

Some trekkers have been rescued and were sent to a safe place in Dehradun.

"I spoke to one of the trekkers and gathered accurate information about the current situation there. The work to rescue the rest is in progress and the Government of Karnataka has already started all its efforts to rescue the trekkers. I myself left for Dehradun on Wednesday afternoon to assist in this operation," he said.

"Unfortunately, there have also been reports of some trekkers dying, which we are trying to reconfirm with local authorities and private agencies. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has instructed us to make all efforts to retrieve the bodies of the deceased trekkers. We are in touch with the Uttarakhand government and are going to work in this regard," he added.

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