Uttarakhand: Four trekkers dead, 18 stranded in Sahastra Tal, SDRF dispatches rescue team

A ten-member recce and rescue team of the forest department has gone beyond Silla village. Apart from this, a backup team is also being sent from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM).
Upon receiving news of the incident, District Magistrate Dr. Meharban Singh Bisht swiftly mobilized the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) headquarters to dispatch a rescue team to the site.
Upon receiving news of the incident, District Magistrate Dr. Meharban Singh Bisht swiftly mobilized the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) headquarters to dispatch a rescue team to the site.Express photo

DEHRADUN: A group of 22 trekkers, who embarked on an expedition to Sahastra Tal, a favourite destination for adventure enthusiasts, has been reported as stranded. Tragically, four members lost their lives due to adverse weather conditions, while the remaining individuals are currently marooned along this challenging Himalayan trekking route.

Upon receiving news of the incident, District Magistrate Dr. Meharban Singh Bisht swiftly mobilized the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) headquarters to dispatch a rescue team to the site. Additionally, DM Bisht instructed the prompt deployment of local teams to aid in the immediate rescue of the stranded trekkers.

SDRF commandant Manikant Mishra told The New Indian Express, "In the early hours of Wednesday, a team of SDRF from district headquarters Uttarkashi has also left to start rescue action from Budhakedar side of Tehri district." A ten-member recce and rescue team of the forest department has gone beyond Silla village.

Uttarkashi Senior Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi told TNIE, "SDRF mountaineering team is also going to leave from Dehradun by helicopter for aerial recce. District Hospital Uttarkashi and Primary Health Center Bhatwadi have been kept on alert. 14 rescuers and one doctor have also left from ITBP Matli a short while ago". Apart from this, a backup team is also being sent from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM).

Earlier on Tuesday, Rajesh Thakur, president and guide of trekking agency Uttarkashi, apprised the district administration that a 22-member trekking team sent by the Himalayan View Trekking Agency, Maneri, to the Malla-Silla-Kushkalyan-Sahastra Tal track, has gone missing.

As per reports from official sources, a group of 18 trekkers from Karnataka, one from Maharashtra, and three local guides embarked on an expedition to Sahastra Tal on May 29. The team was scheduled to return by June 7.

However, during their journey from the last camp to Sahastra Tal the previous day, inclement weather caused them to lose their way. Subsequently, the trekking agency in charge initiated a search and tragically discovered that four members of the group had perished. Efforts are now underway to rescue the remaining 18 members who are stranded along the route.

District Magistrate Dr. Meharban Singh Bisht said that Sahastra Tal is at an altitude of about 4100-4400 meters and the place of the incident is located in the district Uttarkashi and Tehri district border area. Instructions have been given to send High Himalaya Rescue Team from Uttarkashi and Ghansali Tehri on both sides for the speedy rescue of the stranded team members. Two IAF Chetak helicopters have been pressed into service for search and rescue operations along the Sahastra Tal trek route.

Situated amidst the Garhwal Himalayas, Sahastra Tal lies at the western end of the Khatling Glacier. Sahastra Tal is a popular trek among adventure enthusiasts. Hiking through dense forest, ancient settlements, valley of flowers and undulation is the centre of attraction of trekkers.

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