Uttarakhand glacier burst: 2 more bodies recovered, death toll mounts to 12

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The death toll in the avalanche that occurred near the Indo-China border in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district mounted to 12 on Sunday after two more bodies were recovered, officials said.

The rescue operation for six missing people is still underway.

Chamoli District Disaster Management Officer NK Joshi said two more bodies were recovered from the avalanche site on Sunday taking the death toll to 12.

On Friday, the avalanche occurred after a part of a glacier collapsed beyond Sumna on Sumna-Rimkhim road where labourers were engaged in road construction work.

Rescue operations were launched by the Indian Army immediately and 384 people were rescued. Seven persons have sustained critical injuries and are undergoing treatment.

Of the seven injured, six have been admitted to the Military Hospital in Joshimath while one is being treated at the Military Hospital in Dehradun.

READ: Uttarakhand disaster: A rude wake up call

BODIES BROUGHT IN 2 IAF HELICOPTERS TO JOSHIMATH

“The bodies have been brought in two IAF helicopters to Joshimath where their post-mortem is being conducted,” Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauriya said.

Eleven of the deceased have been identified as Tarni Singh, Manoj Thander, Rohit Singh, Niyaran Kandulna, Paul Kandulna, Hanuk Kandulna, Sajen Kandulna, Masi Das, Rahul Kumar, Nirmal Saindil and Sukhram Munda who were all from Jharkhand, Swati Bhadauriya said.

The Chamoli DM and Superintendent of Police Yashwant Singh tried to reach the avalanche site in a helicopter for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused, but it could not land in Sumna, and they returned after making an aerial survey of the area.

ALSO READ: BRO worker dies trapped in snow as avalanche hits Zoji La in Ladakh

Information is being gathered from the BRO about those still missing after the avalanche, Swati Bhadauriya said, adding that compensation will soon be made available to the affected families.

Sumna, where the avalanche occurred, is approximately 25 km from Malari village and is located near the confluence of the Girthigad and the Kiogad, two streams that originate from the Dhauli Ganga river.

RESCUE OPERATION CONTINUES AT SITE

A joint search and rescue operation by the ITBP, NDRF, SDRF, the district administration and the BRO continues at the site amid odds posed by heavy snowfall in the area recently, Swati Bhadauriya said.

The snow laden roads in the area are also being cleared, she added.

CM TIRATH SINGH RAWAT CONDUCTS AERIAL SURVEY OF THE DAMAGE

Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat and state minister Dhan Singh Rawat conducted an aerial survey of the damage on Saturday morning.

Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat tweeted about the incident, saying an alert has been issued, and he is in constant touch with the BRO and the district administration for updates.

In another tweet, Rawat said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has taken immediate cognizance of the incident and assured the state of all help.

(With inputs from PTI)

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