Four trainee mountaineers were killed after an avalanche hit them on a mountain in Uttarakhand today. The mountaineering institute where these trainees had enrolled confirmed the casualties, news agency Asian News International reported. Eight have been rescued and rescuers are searching for more.
All the trainees are from Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi.
Uttarakhand police chief Ashok Kumar said Indian Air Force helicopters are helping in the rescue effort.
The avalanche hit the team at 9 am at an altitude of 16,000 feet.
A rescue officer said the injured trainees are being flown to a nearby helipad at a height of 13,000 feet, and then to state capital Dehradun.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's office said teams of the National Disaster Response Force, the state disaster response force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police are part of the rescue operation.
"Rapid relief and rescue operations are being carried out by the district administration, NDRF, SDRF, Army and ITBP personnel along with the team of NIM to rescue the trainees trapped in the avalanche in Draupadi's Danda-2 mountain peak at the earliest," the Chief Minister's Office tweeted.
The Chief Minister's Office said he has spoken to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and sought the army's help. "The centre has assured every help," it said.