INDIA. Mumbai: While 15 people were dead and about 40 still missing following the cloud burst on Friday, the Amarnath Yatra (a pilgrimage to a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir) began on June 30 and was temporarily suspended on Saturday.
The NDRF, Indian Army, and Indian Air Force rescued over 15000 people to safety on Saturday. As per the figures released by Defence officials here, the dead include seven female, six male, and two unknown. Out of 65 injured, two persons were taken out from debris alive and are being attended to.
The dead include Sunita Bhosale and Pradip Kharade from Alandi in Pune (Maharashtra). While Sunita Bhosale died when hit by a boulder, Kharade passed away following a heart attack.
The sky opened up slightly, enabling the first two helicopter sorties to land at Holy Cave. No landslides were reported, but the continuous rain continued, though it did not hamper rescue work.
The first military helicopter landed at 0645 hours, followed by the second helicopter at 0715 hours after persistent attempts. 11 injured yatris were airlifted to Nilgrar helipad from Holy cave by Army choppers.
Two Rescue Dog Squads, Through Wall Radar, and other specialist detachments have reached Holy Cave, and the Military medical teams have been receiving casualties and patients at Nilagrar helipad. The move-in Valley leading to Holy Cave is minimum due to the slippery track.
Indian Air Force has pressed its transport and helicopter assets into service for rescue and relief operations at Amarnath. Mi-17V5 helicopters have inducted NDRF and civil administration personnel at Panchtarni and rescued 21 survivors till now.
The helicopters also brought back six mortal remains. Further operations by IAF Mi-17V5 and Cheetal helicopters are in progress. Aircraft are on standby at all major air bases in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh areas, the Defence PRO said in a statement.
Besides Army, IAF, SDRF, and CRPF teams, four NDRF teams with over 100 rescuers have been engaged in the rescue work.
In the meanwhile, the relatives of 75-year-old Jayawant Chavan, who had proceeded for Amarnath Yatra from Miraj in Sangli district of Maharashtra on his motor cycle, are yet to know about his whereabouts. Chavan has been going on pilgrimage on his motorcycle, visiting different shrines for the last many years.