By Saurabh Trivedi
New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) launched a rescue mission in Lahaul Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh after two trekkers from West Bengal died while 12 other mountaineers remain stranded for over two weeks at the over 5,000m high Khamengar glacier due to inclement weather.
A joint team of ITBP, Army and Civil Administration launched a rescue mission at 3 am on Tuesday from Kaza towards the higher reaches of Manali-Khamengar Pass- Manirang in Lahaul-Spiti Himachal Pradesh, the paramilitary force said.
A team of mountaineers from west Bengal and local porters were reportedly stranded at the high mountain range at approximately 18,000 feet. 14 members of the team including three trekkers and 11 porters are still stranded at the site.
The deputy leader of the expedition, who along with another member of the expedition reached the ITBP Camp, Kaza to seek rescue for the group yesterday said that they had begun their expedition from Manali on September 17.
On September 25, while the team was passing down from Khamenger Pass, two members- Sandeep Kumar Thakurta, (48) and Bhaskardeb Mukhopadhyaya, (61) (both from West Bengal) died due to mountain sickness.
The entire expedition team consisted of 17 members including 6 mountaineers, 1 Sherpa and 10 Civil Porters. The team's deputy leader further said that both the bodies are lying at the point along with other members of the expedition awaiting help.
The ITBP, local administration at Kaza and the local Army detachment immediately decided to launch a rescue mission forming a team.
At 3 am on Tuesday, a joint team of mountaineers of 17th Battalion ITBP, Army, civil porters and local police representatives moved for the rescue operations.
The rescue mission will start from the Ka village in Pin Valley and is likely to take a few days to complete the evacuation of the dead bodies and rescue of the stranded expedition members and porters.
The rescue parties are fully equipped with all necessary mountaineering equipment, life-saving medicines, oxygen cylinders and other rescue equipment.
The first stage of the rescue effort will cover Kaa to Chak Dhar, while the second stage will be from Chak Dhar to Dhar Thango. The third stage will be from Dhar Thango to spot 5434 where the team is believed to have been stranded.
Till this report was filed, the rescue party has been reported to have reached the first stage at Chak Dhar and its advance party about to reach 2nd stage at Dhar Thango on the rescue team route. (ANI)