Eight bodies recovered, 384 people rescued after glacier burst in Uttarakhand


Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Eight bodies have been recovered and 384 people have been rescued from the site of a glacier break in Malari-Sumna of Niti Valley in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Six people with critical injuries are undergoing treatment.

After conducting an aerial survey of the spot on Saturday morning, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said that rescue operations are in full swing.

“Rescue operations by a combined team including the Indian Army, district administration and National Disaster Response Force are underway. No damage to nearby villages has been reported,” said the CM after an aerial survey.

The break is said to be near a road project in the border area which is being built by the BRO.

The avalanche hit the camp of the Border Road Organization in Malari-Sumna on Friday at around 4 pm after which rescue operations were launched immediately but efforts got delayed due to bad weather.

Officials from the BRO said that the access points and roads are blocked by the snowfall which can delay their journey to the spot.

The higher reaches of hilly areas of Uttarakhand including the Niti Valley received 4-5 feet of snowfall.

The Indian Army issued a statement on Friday evening saying that ‘blizzard conditions’ kept rescue operations at bay till late in the evening.

“In a night rescue operation undertaken by the Army, another 150 GREF persons trapped in the BRO Camp have been rescued and brought to safety. Rescue operations are still in progress to locate the remainder persons still trapped under snow or stranded at work sites since late evening. Mountaineering rescue teams and air effort are at stand by for further rescue operations,” said the  Indian Army.

Sumna is around 40 km from Raini village towards the Indo-Tibetan border from Joshimath of Chamoli district.

Earlier on Friday, after reports of a glacier burst in Malari-Sumna of Chamoli district at Indo-Tibetan border surfaced, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said he spoke to the Union home minister Amit Shah who promised help and support.

Rawat tweeted, “Honorable union home minister has personally taken note of the incident and promised full support and help. I am thankful on the behalf of the people of Uttarakhand for his considerate and sensitive response.”

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