NEW DELHI: As many as ten trainee mountaineers have been killed in an avalanche that hit them in a mountain on Tuesday (October 4) in Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, eight other mountaineers were rescued and search operations are underway to locate the eleven other missing mountaineers.

All the deceased, rescued and missing mountaineers are from the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.

Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters have been pressed into service to locate and rescue the missing mountaineers, informed Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar.

Two Cheetah helicopters have been deployed by IAF for rescue and relief operations in Uttarkashi area where the mountaineering team of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering was hit by an avalanche.

All other fleets of choppers have been put on standby for any other requirement, informed officials of the IAF.

The avalanche hit the mountaineers’ team at 9 am on Tuesday (October 4) at an altitude of 16,000 feet.

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Rescue teams from the national disaster response force (NDRF), state disaster response force (SDRF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are conducting the search operations.

“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 (CMO) of Uttarakhand informed.

Meanwhile, the centre has also assured every help in the search and rescue operations, the Uttarakhand CMO said.

“Deeply anguished to hear about the tragic loss of lives of mountaineers in an avalanche at Uttarakhand. My condolences to the bereaved families. I also offer my prayers for the safety of those trapped and wish them a speedy recovery,” said union minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

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