Uttarakhand avalanche toll rises to eleven

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Gopeshwar, Apr 25 (PTI) The death toll in an avalanche at Sumna near the Indo-China border in Chamoli district rose to 11 on Sunday with the recovery of one more body, officials said.

So far, 384 BRO workers caught in the avalanche, which occurred on Friday, have returned to safety.

One more body was recovered from the avalanche site on Sunday taking the death toll to 11, Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauriya said. The bodies have been brought in two IAF helicopters to Joshimath where their post- mortem is being conducted, she said. The deceased have been identified as Tarni Singh, Manoj Thander, Rohit Singh, Niyaran Kandulna, Paul Kandulna, Hanuk Kandulna, Sajen Kandulna, Masi Das, Rahul Kumar, Nirmal Saindil and Sukhram Munda, Bhadauriya said. They were all from Jharkhand, she said. Seven people injured in the avalanche are being treated. Six of them are admitted in the Army Hospital at Joshimath and one has been referred to a hospital in Dehradun, she said.

The Chamoli DM and Superintendent of Police Yashwant Singh tried to reach the avalanche site in a helicopter to make an on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused but it could not land in Sumna and they returned after making an aerial survey of the area. Information is being gathered from the BRO about those still missing after the avalanche, she said. Compensation will soon be made available to the affected families, the official said. Sumna, where the avalanche occurred, is approximately 25 km from Malari village and located near the confluence of the Girthigad and the Kiogad, two streams that originate from the Dhauli Ganga river. BRO workers were at work on a road construction site when the avalanche occurred on Friday. A joint search and rescue operation by the ITBP, NDRF, SDRF, the district administration and the BRO continues at the site amid odds posed by heavy snowfall in the area recently, she said. The snow laden roads in the area are also being cleared, she said. PTI Corr ALM AAR AAR