On Wednesday, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) recommenced the rescue operation at around 5.30 am with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Team to ensure that in case of any survivors they can be rescued from the snow in Sikkim.
“The rescue operation continued till 3 pm but there were no further fatalities found. Accordingly, the rescue operation has now been stopped and the road opened for traffic,” Lt Col Mahendra Rawat, PRO DEFENCE said in a press statement.
The rescue operation was monitored at the site by Chief Engineer Project Swastik of BRO along with his team of officers and men.
Lt col Mahendra Rawat, PRO DEFENCE while speaking to Pratidin Time said, “About 27 tourists were rescued by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) during the rescue operation. With god’s grace, no more fatalities were found on Wednesday.”
Notably, on Tuesday at about 11.10 am, a massive avalanche hit the Gangtok-Natu La JNM Road near MS 15.
Approximately 5-6 vehicles along with 20-30 tourists on way to Natu La are feared to have been buried under the snow.
Troops of Trishakti Corps, Indian Army and team of BRO Project SWASTIK swung into action immediately and launched an all-out rescue mission.
23 tourists rescued till 4 pm including 6 from deep valley and shifted to nearby medical facilities of Indian Army.
Unfortunately, seven persons have succumbed.
Search and rescue mission for the balance persons are underway by the Army, State Disaster Management Team and Police.
In addition, 350 stranded tourists and 80 vehicles rescued after snow clearance from road.
Later, another slide hit at the same place at 5.35 pm. Following which, the rescue and search operations were halted.
JNM Road Axis is closed till snow was cleared. All personnel involved in the humanitarian mission were also reported to be safe.