Bodies of K'taka trekkers who died in Uttarakhand likely to be flown to Bengaluru today

Bodies of the nine Karnataka trekkers who lost their lives in Uttarakhand due to extreme weather conditions are likely to be flown to Bengaluru on Thursday, officials said.

Bengaluru | Bodies of the nine Karnataka trekkers who lost their lives in Uttarakhand due to extreme weather conditions are likely to be flown to Bengaluru on Thursday, officials said.

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 constituted 18 trekkers from Karnataka and one from Maharashtra, besides three local guides, they said.

Karnataka Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda who is in Dehradun met Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Radha Raturi and Secretary of Disaster Management Ranjit Sinha today and thanked them for their swift response during this calamity.

In a statement released by his office, the Minister said he requested their help to arrange an aircraft to transport the bodies to Bengaluru and they have agreed to do so.

"All nine bodies will likely reach Dehradun around noon. After embalming in a local hospital, we are planning to airlift all the bodies to Bengaluru today itself," he said.

According to Gowda, eight trekkers, including women were rescued and shifted to Dehradun on Wednesday while five more rescued trekkers will be airlifted from Uttarkashi to Dehradun today.

"Yesterday (Wednesday), bodies of five trekkers were airlifted to Uttarkashi and in an early morning operation today, four more bodies were recovered and airlifted to Uttarkashi," he said.

Post-mortem is underway at a hospital in Uttarkashi. Then, all nine bodies will be airlifted to Dehradun. Embalming will be done in Dehradun, he said.

After the incident came to light on Wednesday, Gowda flew to Dehradun to monitor and coordinate the rescue operation.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday instructed officials concerned to take necessary action for safe rescue of trekkers and to bring the bodies of the deceased to the state immediately.

According to the Revenue Minister, 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.

"As soon as we came to know 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 was carried out," he had 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.

On Wednesday evening, a statement released by the Chief Minister's Office said bodies of those who had gone on a trek to Shastratal Mayali in Uttarakhand and died due to inclement weather would be handed over to their families and the rest of the trekkers who were rescued would be brought safely to the state.

"All those rescued should be safely brought home without any disturbance. Instructions have been given to Minister Krishna Byre Gowda that all the necessary procedures should be carried out immediately in order to handover the bodies to the families," the Chief Minister was quoted as saying in the statement.

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