At least eight people died and six more were critically injured after a glacier broke off, triggering an avalanche in Sumna area of Joshimath Sector in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, the Army said on Saturday.
The avalanche hit the area along the India-China border on Friday afternoon, following which rescue operations remained affected due to blizzard conditions till late evening. Besides recovering the bodies, the Army has managed to rescue 384 others who were working at a Border Roads Organisation camp in the area.
The Army said that the location where the avalanche hit was situated on the Sumna- Rimkhim Road in Uttarakhand, The Indian Express reported.
“A BRO detachment and two labour camps exist nearby for road construction work along this axis,” Army said in a statement. “An Army camp is located 3 kilometres from Sumna.”
The Army and the State Disaster Response Force teams was still conducting a search and rescue operation in the area, NDTV reported. Teams of the Border Roads Task Force from Joshimath were clearing the roads from Bhapkund to Sumna as landslides have cut them off at five locations.
On Saturday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat conducted an aerial survey of the area, ANI reported. Speaking to reporters, Rawat said that the National Disaster Response Force and district administration were carrying out relief work but connectivity remained affected in the area. On Friday, the chief minister had tweeted saying that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has taken cognisance of the incident and assured the state of assistance.
The incident came just two months after another glacier disaster in Chamoli resulted in a flash flood, claiming over 200 lives.