Uttarakhand avalanche tragedy: Death toll rises to 19 | Dehradun News indiabusinessport.com

DEHRADUN: Multi-agency search and rescue teams — including a 14-member team from the Army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) at Gulmarg — on Thursday reached Draupadi ka Danda in Uttarkashi, the site of the avalanche that had hit a group of 61 trainees and instructors of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM).
The death toll in the tragedy rose to 19 on Friday. Efforts are on to find the missing.
“A total of 19 bodies have been recovered from the crevice. Efforts will be made to bring the bodies to Matli helipad by Advanced Light Helicopter today. Total 30 rescue teams deployed,” said Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar while talking to ANI.
Of the total bodies recovered till Thursday, 14 were of trainees and the remaining two were of instructors. The identity of the bodies was not revealed by officials. Four bodies, including those of two women NIM instructors — Savita Kanswal and Naumi Rawat — were recovered on Wednesday.

Ten climbers, all trainees, are still missing according to officials involved in search and rescue operation at the disaster site situated at an altitude of nearly 18,000 feet.
“Heliborne operations were stopped in late afternoon due to bad weather. Airlifting of bodies will be resumed on Friday morning. However, much will depend on the weather,” a statement by NIM said.
Ankur Dhar’s elder brother, 28-year-old Atanu Dhar, is among those missing after being struck by the avalanche while on a training expedition to the Draupadi ka Danda peak. Speaking to TOI, a visibly distressed Ankur said, “My mother has been in coma for the past 12 years and my father is on the verge of retirement from his job at the education department in Arunachal Pradesh. Atanu is a passionate trekker and had left his job at a private firm in Delhi last year. He completed his basic course from NIM earlier and returned to do the advanced one. We are praying that he emerges safe from this incident.”

The brothers hail from Pasighat town in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Both shifted to the Chhatarpur region of Delhi in 2014 and had been living there since then to take care of their ill mother. “Atanu is very passionate. After leaving his job, he travelled to several places to partake in adventure sports such as river rafting and rock climbing. He was planning to go paragliding soon after completing the advanced course but got stuck in the avalanche,” Ankur, who is a professional gamer, said.
The younger brother also expressed anger over “mismanagement” at NIM. He alleged that the institute’s officials were being “negligent”.
“Uttarkashi was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 2.5 just two days before the incident. Besides, there was continuous snowfall in the Draupadi ka Danda region. However, NIM ignored all these signs and continued with the expedition. If they would have postponed the trip for some days, perhaps the tragedy could have been avoided,” he said.

Savita Kanswal: The accomplished mountaineer who died in the Uttarkashi avalanche

Savita Kanswal: The accomplished mountaineer who died in the Uttarkashi avalanche

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