Srinagar: The Army is carrying out a rescue operation for the Amarnath yatris injured in the cloudburst at Baltal.
A statement of the Army issued here said that the rescue team immediately rushed to the site after getting information about the casualties.
“An Infantry Battalion led by Colonel along with Quick Reaction Teams, an additional company of personnel from Sector RR and a team from Special Forces reached the Amarnath Cave along with specialised rescue equipment to undertake the rescue operation,” the Army statement said.
It said that through the night, Commander Sector RR and CO Infantry Battalion oversaw and coordinated rescue operations from the Amarnath Cave and Nilagrar.
“Medical resources at the Amarnath Cave and Nilagrar were activated and additional resources deployed. Nine surveillance detachments with hand-held thermal imagers, night-vision devices, and other night sights were also deployed for search operations,” the Army statement said.
It said that two ALH helicopters were moved for casualty evacuation at the Amarnath Cave but due to bad weather, the night landing was unsuccessful.
The Army statement said that two Through Wall Radars and two search and rescue dog squads were also moved to the Amarnath Cave for rescue operations.
It said that the search, rescue, and medical effort continued on Saturday morning.
“At 6:45 am, the first ALH landed at the site to commence evacuation of the injured. The bodies of 15 dead yatris have been recovered while 63 injured yatris have been rescued. Both Army and civilian helicopters are carrying out relentless sorties to evacuate the injured and carry the bodies,” the Army statement said. “The medical treatment of the injured yatris is ongoing. A total of 28 patients have been evacuated from the Amarnath Cave to the Nilagrar advanced dressing station. After stabilizing 11 persons, they were moved to SKIMS Srinagar in civil helicopters for treatment. Fifteen bodies were moved from the Amarnath Cave to Nilagrar.”
It said that the stranded yatris were being escorted by Indian Army personnel till Baltal as the track was slushy and slippery.
“Simultaneously, a search was also commenced early morning at Amarnath Nar at Sangam for any possible casualties,” the Army statement said.
It said that Lt General ADS Aujla, GOC Chinar Corps, and Major General Sanjiv Singh Slaria, GOC Kilo Force, visited the Amarnath Cave early Saturday morning to review the rescue and medical efforts being undertaken by the Army.
The Army statement said that the GOC Chinar Corps also interacted with the yatris and locals and assured all possible help from the Army.
“Citizens are advised to contact Army helpline number +91-9149720998 for assistance and enquiry. Callers are also advised to have details of yatris including name, Yatra Registration and RFID No, contact No, Aadhaar No, and the last known location and time,” the statement said. “The Army is committed to assisting the yatris in all possible ways and under all circumstances. The rescue and medical efforts will continue through the day and details will be updated for the general information of the public.”