Home / News / India /  Avalanche: Body count rises in Uttarakhand, death toll expected to go further up

On October 6, 12 trainee mountaineers' remains were found by rescuers in northern India, raising the total number of confirmed fatalities from an avalanche in the Himalayas to 16, according to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM).

An avalanche swept down the slopes of Draupadi Ka Danda 2 peak on October 4, trapping dozens of individuals taking a training course offered by the institute.

Nayab Subedar Anil Kumar was one of the 14 injured mountain climbers who were transported to the district hospital by rescuers from the NIM basecamp. The party of climbers, many of whom are still missing, were being led by the NIM instructor when they were struck by a big avalanche as they descended from the Draupadi Ka Danda-II peak in Uttarkashi.

Also Read: Trainee mountaineers killed in Uttarakhand avalanche

"Within seconds, everything was enveloped by a thick cloud of snow," he told PTI.

According to NIM, 16 corpses have been found at the scene, and as the search and rescue efforts for the missing mountaineers go on, the number of fatalities is sure to rise.

"There were 42 climbers in the team, including 34 trainees. I was leading them. Instructors Savita Kanswal and Naumi Rawat were behind me while the rest followed them. Just then, the avalanche hit and buried everything under thick snow within seconds," Kumar said.

Watch: Massive avalanche plunges down trail behind Kedarnath Temple

"As I was ahead of the rest, I hung on to the left of the crevasse. When the snow began to settle, I undid the ropes and started to rescue my teammates. The other instructors also joined in."

It took them two hours to clear the snow because they lacked the necessary gear. Those who were visible were removed. The instructor reported that 29 team members were trapped inside the chasm despite their best attempts. However, this was Kumar's second narrow escape in the previous 12 years.

(With agency inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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