Nine trekkers die in blizzard in Indian Himalayas

They were caught in a snowstorm while climbing down from 15,000 feet above sea level

Arpan Rai
Thursday 06 June 2024 13:47
A photo taken by the Indian Air Force shows the site where the trekkers succumbed to bad weather
A photo taken by the Indian Air Force shows the site where the trekkers succumbed to bad weather (Indian Air Force/ X)

Nine trekkers died in the Indian Himalayas after they were caught in bad weather, local authorities said on Thursday after rescue workers found their bodies.

The trekkers from Bengaluru in the southern Karnataka state were exploring the highlands of Uttarkashi in northern Uttarakhand state when they were hit by a snowstorm and a blizzard earlier this week.

They were in a 22-member trekking expedition led by three local guides and set out on a trek to Sahastra Tal, which is 15,000 feet above sea level, on Monday. The rest of the trekkers have been rescued.

The casualties were all experienced trekkers, according to the Karnataka Mountaineering Association, which organised the trek.

The association had organised at least seven other successful expeditions this month, its secretary Srivatsa S told The Indian Express.

Krishna Byre Gowda, a state minister in Karnataka, confirmed the deaths.

“They were returning to camp. They were one and a half to two hours away when it started snowing at 2 pm,” he said. “By 4 pm, snow intensified into a blizzard. By 6 pm, two trekkers succumbed to bad weather.”

The Indian Air Force deployed helicopters to aid the rescue operation and said they “successfully evacuated three survivors and the mortal remains of five trekkers”.

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