Shimla, Aug 16:
A trekker who was stranded in a mountain pass in Jammu and Kashmir owing to injuries for the past five days was found dead by the Indian Air Force (IAF) rescue team on Sunday, an official said.
The team could not manage to airlift the body of trekker Arun Sharma, 25, of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district as it was frozen. A team of trekkers was dispatched to physically lift the body.
The IAF deployed two choppers on Sunday to rescue Sharma, who was stationed in a tent close to the Umasi Pass, located at an altitude of 17,400 feet above sea level, with sufficient supply of ration,
Earlier in the day, the IAF conducted two sorties to evacuate Sharma but failed to cross the Umasi Pass as it was too foggy at the top of the pass.
Finally, in the third attempt it managed to reach the spot, an Indian Army official, who was involved in the rescue operation, told IANS over the phone.
He said a rescuer, who reached the spot by hanging from the chopper, could not physically lift the body as it was badly frozen.
The chopper could not land at that place as the area was on a slope, he added.
The second trekker, Rijul Gill, 30, who was not injured, reached Zanskar at the base of the Umasi Pass in Kargil after more than one and a half days of trekking.
Gill left behind Sharma with the assurance that he would arrange help for him.
Both the trekkers left for Umasi Pass on August 9 from Killar in Chamba district.
An alarming message on Whatsapp about a trekker being stranded on Saturday led deputy commissioner of Kullu district Rakesh Kanwar to organise the rescue.
Since then he had been in regular touch with the deputy commissioner in Kargil and the second trekker.
“It’s really sad to learn of his death,” Kanwar said. (IANS)