Shri Amarnath Shrine Tragedy: Death toll rises to 16, rescue ops intensified

Shri Amarnath Shrine Tragedy: Death toll rises to 16, rescue ops intensified


SRINAGAR, Jul 9: At least 16 people have died in the cloud burst incident near the holy shrine of Amarnath, informed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DG Atul Karwal on Saturday.

Karwal said, “There are 16 confirmed deaths, about 40 still seem to be missing. There is no landslide, but rain continues, though no problem in rescue work. Four NDRF teams with over 100 rescuers in rescue work. Besides, Indian Army, BSF, SDRF, CRPF and others continue with the rescue operation.”

An Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) official on Saturday informed that rescue operation has been intensified in the Amarnath cloud burst incident.

Vivek Kumar Pandey, PRO, ITBP said, “Rescue operation has been intensified, around 30-40 people are still missing we have got information from the local administration. The weather is clear near the Amarnath cave. The injured people have been brought to base using helicopters. Yatra is still on hold and we are advising people not to move ahead.”

The Indian Air Force has deployed 2 ALH Dhruv and Mi-17 V5 helicopters each from Srinagar for the rescue oerations at the Amarnath cave site. One AN-32 and Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft are on standby in Chandigarh for further requirements, IAF officials informed on Saturday.

In a statement, the ITBP said, “Most of the yatris who were stranded near Holy cave area due to flash flood last evening have been shifted to Panjtarni. ITBP had expanded its Route opening and protection parties from Lower Holy cave to Panjtarni. The evacuation continued till 3.38 AM. No yatri is left on the track. About 15,000 people were safely shifted till now.”

Meanwhile, Chinar Corps Commander Lieutenant General ADS Aujla reached the cloudburst-affected areas near the Amarnath cave.

A multi-agency search and rescue operation is underway following yesterday’s cloudburst near Shri Amarnathji Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir. Search and rescue operations are being carried out by J&K Police, NDRF, ITBP and Army personnel.

The cloudburst, which occurred last evening, led to flash flood near the holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnathji. Gushing waters came from above and sides of the cave after heavy rains at the upper reaches.

About 65 people got injured in the incident out of which two have been taken-out from the debris alive and are being treated in the hospital. The Yatra from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes has been temporarily suspended in view of the cloudburst.

Meanwhile, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has cancelled leaves of all staff and have directed them to report immediately besides all officers have been directed to keep their phones on.

According to an order, issued by DHSK, in view of the unfortunate incident of cloudburst at Baltal near Holy Cave in which a number of Yatris are feared dead & injured, directions for immediate compliance by all are hereby issued.

The order stated that all the officers are directed to keep their mobiles switched on, while chief medical officers of south Kashmir i.e. Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian & Anantnag are directed to send additional doctors & paramedical staff along with drugs, disposables & emergency aid kits to Pahalgam.

“Chief medical Officers of North & Central Kashmir i.e. Srinagar, Bandipora, Baramulla & Budgam are directed to send additional doctors & paramedical staff alongwith drugs, disposables & emergency aid kits to Baltal,” it reads.

As per the order in charge Controller of Stores (Health) is directed to coordinate with General Manager JKMSCL Srinagar for keeping emergency supplies ready to be dispatched to Baltal & Pahalgam immediately in consultation with Yatra Officer DHSK.

The order further stated that all leaves of the staff (Regular/Contractual) are hereby cancelled with the directions to report duties immediately.

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