Four mountaineers have died in an avalanche at Draupadi Ka Danda-II mountain peak in Uttarakhand while rescue operations were on for others, confirmed the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) on Tuesday.
According to a release by the NIM, 41 people including 34 trainees and 7 mountaineering instructors were hit by the avalanche.
The institute said that the as per the training schedule, the climbers moved to the mountain on September 23 after the revision of rock-climbing training at NIM and Tekhla rock climbing training area.
"The course arrived at Base Camp on September 25. As per the training schedule on October 4, the course moved for High Altitude Navigation and height gain to Mount Draupadi ka Danda-II (5670m) at 4.00 am while returning back from the mountain peak the Advance Mountaineering Course was met with an avalanche occurred above camp-1 in which 34 trainees and 7 mountaineering instructors were caught under avalanche at 08:45 hrs," said the release.
"The Rescue work is in progress as of now four bodies have been recovered. SDRF, NDRF and Indian Air Force are helping in the rescue," it added.
Earlier today, eight of the 29 trainee mountaineers, who were trapped in the Uttarkhand avalanche on Tuesday, have been rescued and taken to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Hospital for treatment, the ITBP said.
"Eight mountaineers were immediately rescued by the team. However, there has been no clarity on deaths," Vivek Pandey, ITBP's PRO told ANI, adding that the group was on a mission to reach Draupadi's Danda-2 mountain peak, located at 18,000 feet when an avalanche at around 8 am on Tuesday.
The ITBP, National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force along with local police started the rescue operation as soon as they received the information about the incident.
"Rapid relief and rescue operations are being carried out by the district administration, NDRF, SDRF, Army and ITBP personnel along with the team of NIM to rescue the trainees trapped in the avalanche in Draupadi's Danda-2 mountain peak at the earliest," said Taking Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in a tweet.
CM Dhami said that he has spoken to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and requested for help from the army to speed up the rescue operation.
"He has assured us to give every possible help from the Centre. A rescue operation is being conducted to bring out everyone," Dhami said.
(with inputs from ANI)