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November 22, 2009

Rescue teams recover ten bodies from Rohtang Pass

     Manali: Rescue teams have recovered at least ten bodies of snowstorm victims in the Manali hill resort area. According to officials, the victims are mostly labourers from Bihar and Jharkhand. Most of the victims died of hypothermia. It was estimated that over 80 people were stuck at the Rohatang Pass on Friday due to the snowstorm. The incident took place around 1:30 in the afternoon when about 85 people were trying to cross the pass on foot. The pass, which is situated 13,500 feet above mean sea level is known as the gateway to the Lahaul Valley and has been closed to traffic since November 9 due to heavy snowfall. On Saturday, teams from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports launched a rescue operation and recovered nine bodies. A Border Roads Organization team recovered another body from Rahala fall. The administration has pressed the state police, the General Reserve Engineering Force and mountaineers into the rescue operation. Manali Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Rajeshwar Goyel said : "We have rescued 15 injured people at Maddi village. They are all out of danger and arrangements are being made to take them all to Manali, where they would be given medical treatment.Four injured persons are still in Maddi village as the deputy director of the mountaineering Institute, Rajiv Sharma, and Dr. Balbir, in-charge of the Manali Civil Hosptial, are taking care of them.” Survivors have thanked the local administration the prompt help given.
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