10 Killed and 11 Missing After Avalanche Hits Group of Students in Himalaya Mountains

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Draupadi ka Danda-II
Draupadi ka Danda peak II. Credit: Amar Chandra via Wikipedia

At least ten climbers were killed yesterday after being hit by an avalanche in the Himalaya Mountains. Rescuers are still searching for a further missing 11.

The group was hit by an avalanche in the Gangotri range of the Garhwal Himalayas in India on Tuesday morning, according to Uttarakhand state police chief Ashok Kumar. The group consisted of 42 from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering: 34 students, seven instructors, and a nurse. At least 30 were caught and buried in the avalanche. Eight others were rescued, but 11 are still missing.

“It has happened for the first time in the history of Indian mountaineering that such a large group of trainee mountaineers has been killed in an avalanche.”

– Amit Chowdhary, an official at the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation and a former Indian air force officer

The students, preparing for high-altitude navigation, were returning from Draupadi ka Danda-II at 18,602 feet when the avalanche struck at 8.45 am local time. The students were roped together when the avalanche struck, said Ridhim Aggarwal, inspector general with India’s disaster response force.

The National Disaster Response Force and the Indian army sent teams to assist in rescue efforts. The Indian air force deployed two helicopters to search for the missing.

The tragedy comes a week after an avalanche hit base camp on Manaslu, Nepal, killing two, and a separate avalanche claimed the life of an American mountaineer, Hilaree Nelson, the same day on Manaslu.

Draupadi ka Danda II

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