Uttarakhand avalanche toll rises to twelve

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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 12 on Sunday with the recovery of two more bodies, officials said. Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauriya said so far 384 BRO workers, who were caught in the avalanche, have returned to safety. Chamoli District Disaster Management Officer N K Joshi said two more bodies were recovered from the avalanche site on Sunday taking the death toll to 12.

The bodies have been brought in two IAF helicopters to Joshimath where their post-mortem is being conducted, Bhadauriya said. Eleven of 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 who were all from Jharkhand, ,Bhadauriya 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 for 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 is 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