NEW DELHI — According to media reports, at least 10 novice mountaineers perished on Tuesday after being buried by an avalanche in the Himalayas of northern India. Eleven more were reported missing.
According to Uttarakhand state police commissioner Ashok Kumar, an avalanche struck a party of 29 people on a Himalayan summit in the Gangotri range of the Garhwal Himalayas on Tuesday morning. According to him, eight people were rescued from the snow and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Ten deaths, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
According to Kumar, all of the missing were receiving training at a mountaineering facility distance from the avalanche scene.
Pushkar Singh Dhami, the state's top elected official, reported that personnel from the Indian army and the National Disaster Response Force had been sent to assist with rescue operations. Two helicopters from the Indian air force were sent out to look for the missing.
Amit Chowdhary, a representative of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation and a former Indian air force officer, said that this was the first time in the history of Indian mountaineering that such a sizable group of novice mountaineers had perished in an avalanche.
Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, expressed his "deep grief" over the deaths caused by the avalanche.
Singh wrote, "My sympathies to the bereaved families who have lost their dear ones."
Avalanches frequently occur in Uttarakhand's mountainous regions. A glacier break in the state last year caused a flash flood that killed over 200 people.