Uttarakhand glacier burst: At least 8 dead, 384 workers rescued; Amit Shah assures help
The Indian Army on Saturday recovered the bodies and managed to rescue 384 others who were working at a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) camp.
At least eight people died after a glacier broke off in the Sumna area of Niti Valley near Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on Friday. The Indian Army on Saturday recovered the bodies and managed to rescue 384 others who were working at a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) camp in the area till late last evening.
Bad weather conditions had restricted rescue operations last night. Sources said operations commenced this morning, and the Army is trying to locate more people in batches.
In a statement, the Army said that at around 4 pm on April 23, "an avalanche hit a location about 4 km ahead of Sumna on Sumna- Rimkhim road in Uttarakhand", which is on the "Joshimath-Malari-Girthidobla-Sumna-Rimkhim axis".
"A BRO detachment and two labour camps exist nearby for road construction work along this axis. An Army camp is located 3 Km from Sumna (approximately 1 km short of BRO Sumna Det)."
The area is "experiencing heavy rains and snow for the last 5 days", the statement read.
"Rescue operations were launched by the Indian Army immediately. As many as 384 labourers have been safely rescued and are now at the Army camp. Rescue operations to locate other labourers at both camps are continuing. Eight bodies have been recovered so far."
The Army added that the road access is cut off at four to five location due to multiple landslides, and Border Roads Task Force teams from Joshimath "are working to clear slides en route from Bhapkund to Sumna since last evening" and it is "expected to take another 6 to 8 hours to clear this complete axis".
An official mentioned that a BRO camp "came under avalanche conditions during heavy snowfall in Sumna area of Joshimath Sector in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand" on Friday. As the rescue operations began, blizzard conditions kept rescue operations at bay till late evening".
The official also said that in a night rescue operation "undertaken by the Army, another 150 GREF persons stuck in the BRO Camp were rescued and brought to safety". General Reserve Engineer Force works under BRO.
The rescue work was going on till late Friday night "to locate people still stuck under snow or stranded at worksites since late evening".
The official mentioned that people were found and rescued in batches. After the initial 55 and then 149, four more batches of 37, 22, 9 and 19 were saved and brought to safety, taking the total count to 291 during the night.
AMIT SHAH ASSURES HELP
Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat tweeted about the incident, saying an alert has been issued and he is in constant touch with the BRO and the district administration for updates.
In another tweet, Rawat said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has taken immediate cognizance of the incident and assured the state of all help.
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said he is monitoring the situation closely
"Unfortunate that a disaster has struck Reni Village of Uttarakhand owing to a glacier burst on Dhauliganga river. I am monitoring the situation closely. CWC is on alert and a team led by a secretary level officer has taken charge of the situation," he wrote on Twitter.
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