At least six tourists were killed and 22 were rescued when they were hit by an avalanche in Sikkim on Tuesday afternoon, according to state officials.
The incident occurred on the 14th mile of the Jawaharlal Nehru road, which connects Gangtok to Nathula on the India-China border.
“The deceased include four men, a woman, and a child,” said Sonam Tenzing Bhutia, inspector general (check post) of the Sikkim police. Their identity has yet to be determined.”
At least 50 more tourists were held hostage until 3 p.m. Officials said the army, state police, and local volunteers had rushed to their aid.
Sikkim has been experiencing regular snowfall since March, and tourist movement has been restricted up to the 13th Mile, a point on the JN Road that leads to the Nathula Pass.
Although tourists were permitted to go up to the 13th Mile, many had gone up to the 15th Mile when they were hit by the avalanche.
The avalanche was thought to have killed around 80 tourists. Thirty of them were rescued and taken to various hospitals in Gangtok, the state capital, until 3 p.m.
Meanwhile in another update, the rescue operation is underway at the Gangtok-Natu La road near 15th milestone. So far, around 27 persons were recovered from the avalanches and out of which 7 were found dead.
In another update BJP delegation meets West Bengal Governor CN Ananda Bose as they were seeking the intervention over the deteriorating law and order situation in the State.