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9 Bengaluru trekkers succumb to bad weather in Uttarakhand’s Sahastra Tal trek; IAF, SDRF carry rescue ops

Nine trekkers from Bengaluru lost their lives during a trek near Sahastra Tal in Uttarakhand due to severe weather conditions. Despite rescue efforts by the IAF, NDRF, SDRF, and local authorities, nine bodies were recovered. The deceased were experienced trekkers from The Karnataka Mountaineering Association. The incident highlights the risks of high-altitude trekking.

9 Bengaluru trekkers succumb to bad weather in Uttarakhand's Sahastra Tal trek; IAF, SDRF carry rescue ops vkp
First Published Jun 6, 2024, 1:06 PM IST

Nine trekkers from Bengaluru lost their lives due to severe weather conditions during a trek near Sahastra Tal in Uttarakhand, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

The incident occurred when a group of 22 trekkers, led by the Himalayan View Trekking Agency from Maneri, ventured on a 35-kilometer trek to Sahastra Tal, a high-altitude lake situated approximately 4,600 meters above sea level. Despite their scheduled return by June 7, adverse weather conditions impeded their descent from the lake, causing them to lose their way.

Sahastra Tal tragedy: 9 trekkers including 5 from Karnataka dead, several residents stranded: rescue underway

Upon receiving information about the stranded trekkers, a joint rescue operation was initiated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and local authorities. Two Chetak helicopters from the Indian Air Force, alongside a private chopper, were deployed to aid in the rescue efforts. Additionally, the SDRF dispatched two teams from Dehradun and Uttarkashi to assist.

Tragically, the rescue operation resulted in the recovery of the bodies of nine trekkers from Bengaluru, identified as Asha Sudhakar (71), Anitha Rangappa (55), Venkatesh Prasad K (53), Vinayak Mungurwadi (52), Sujata Mungurwadi (52), Padmanabha K P (50), Chitra Praneeth (48), Sindhu Wakelam (44), and Padmini Hegde (34).

The deceased was part of a larger group of trekkers from The Karnataka Mountaineering Association, who were on their seventh expedition of the month. Srivatsa S, the secretary of the association, expressed that all the deceased were experienced trekkers.

An official from the Karnataka disaster management department revealed that the unfortunate incident occurred when a blizzard struck the group around 2 pm on Tuesday. Despite efforts to locate and rescue the stranded trekkers, the harsh weather conditions proved fatal for nine members of the expedition.

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The bodies of the deceased were transported to Joshimath on Thursday morning, marking a sombre end to what was meant to be an adventurous trekking expedition. While the rescue operation managed to save the remaining members of the trekking team, the loss of nine lives serves as a grim reminder of the unpredictable nature of high-altitude trekking in the Himalayas.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has instructed officials to ensure the safe rescue of the remaining trekkers and expedite the process of bringing the deceased back to Bengaluru. As the rescue efforts continue, the tragic incident underscores the importance of thorough preparation and caution when embarking on treks in challenging terrain.

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