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Chopper fails to evacuate stranded trekkers in Himachal



Shimla, June 3 (IANS) Nine trekkers, mainly officials of the income tax department from New Delhi who are stranded in a remote helmet in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, could not be airlifted on Friday owing to bad climatic conditions, a government official said.

"One helicopter was deployed in the morning to airlift the trekkers who have been stranded in Bara Bhangal village for the past two days," Deputy Commissioner Ritesh Chauhan told IANS over phone.

He said the state-run chopper could not land in the area due to high velocity winds and bad weather.

"We will definitely again try to evacuate them as the weather gets normal," he said.

"I spoke to trekkers a day before yesterday (June 1) on the satellite phone and there is no life-threatening situation. All the trekkers have been provided medical aid, accommodation and foodstuff and all are perfect in health," he said.

But the rescue teams sent to evacuate and to provide them eatables and medical help are yet to reach the spot, he added.

Bara Bhangal is located at an altitude over 2,800 metre and had no road link. On foot, it is accessible through the Thamsar Pass, located at an attitude of 4,700 metre.

The trekkers started trek from Manali to Bara Bhangal last week.

The helicopter during its rescue operation also took 11 villagers who were to be dropped in Bara Bhangal. They were also brought back to Palampur town as the chopper couldn’t land at the spot.

The trek to Bara Bhangal, part of the Dhauladhar Wildlife Sanctuary which remains cut off from the rest of the world for over six months due to heavy snow, is 65 km from the last village connected by road in Kangra district.

Bara Bhangal has a population of around 400 people and during winter most of them migrate to Bir village in Baijnath tehsil, near Palampur town, some 250 km from Shimla.

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