Srinagar: A huge cloudburst which hit the Amarnath Yatra route near the lower cave in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday evening left at least a dozen pilgrims dead so far, official sources said.
However, Police only confirmed eight deaths in the incident.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to enquire about the situation and welfare of the yatris.
Sources said the cloud burst hit at a place where the tented accommodation was provided to the pilgrims besides langar. Several tents have been washed away with the flash floods in which a dozen yatris have died, they said and added many are still missing.
Initially two bodies were recovered from the site and six more were retrieved later on. The search for the other missing pilgrims is continuing.
“ Six more deaths reported (Total 08 deaths so far). Injured persons airlifted for treatment. Rescue operation still going on”, IGP police said in a tweet
However, sources said four more bodies were recovered from the site late in the evening taking the death toll to 12. They said the death toll is likely to mount as many people are still missing. Many injured in the incident were airlifted for treatment.
Rescue teams from police, security forces and NDRF have launched a massive rescue operation. “The situation is under control”, IGP said in a tweet
Several political leaders in Kashmir valley have also expressed anguish over the incident and prayed for the safety of the Amarnath pilgrims. Further details are emerging, they added.