Army officers killed in U'khand avalanche

The victims—Lt Col C Pooranchandra from 9 Para Field regiment and Major Manish Gusain from 11 Kumaon regiment—were part of a team which was undertaking an expedition to Mount Kamet with the aim of selecting a team for another expedition to climb Mt Manasalu in Nepal next year.

An advanced base camp was was set up at 5,300 metre altitude. As a part of the selection process a 11-member team was tasked to set up another camp at an altitude of 5,800 metres.

The team remained stationed at the same location for three days (September 17-19) due to bad weather, which was ravaging the hill states. Around 3 pm on Sunday, the team was hit by a fierce avalanche that buried the entire camp.

Though other team members managed to extricate themselves out of the snow cover, Pooranchandra and Manish Gusain perished.

On Monday, their bodies were brought down to the advanced base camp and will be brought to Joshimath when the weather improves, said an Army officer. 

Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gnadhi and Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday made aerial surveys of flood-affected areas of Utta Pradesh and Uttaranchal. The Army has deployed four columns with specialised boats for relief and rescue operations in Uttaranchal since September 19.

Tourists stranded

More than 100 tourists were stranded in different areas of Uttarakhand where torrential rain and landslides have claimed 66 lives over the past three days, an official said Tuesday. A group of 50 tourists, including 28 from Brazil, were stuck on the main Uttarkashi-Yamunotri highway while they were returning after their sojourn to four Hindu pilgrimage destinations.

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