Darjeeling, Jan 10 : The Indian Army rescued more than 150 tourists, who were left trapped due to heavy snowfall in the northern part of Sikkim, Lachung, exactly 10 days after the Indian soldiers saved nearly 3000 tourists from Nathula, Tsango and elsewhere.
Lachung, a 2700 mt high mountain village of Bhutia and Tibetans, close to China border, is located at a distance of more than 100 km north of Sikkim capital Gangtok. On Wednesday afternoon, the famous tourist destination suddenly received extremely heavy snowfall and the temperature in the region slid to sub-zero level, stranding around 150 tourists.
Officials sources, who oversaw the rescue operation said that in a span of two hours Lachung valley was completely cut off. The tourists, who did not have adequate logistical support of their own to survive in the extreme weather condition were in peril and needed immediate help.
However, the troops of Trishakti Corps immediately swung into action and launched " Quick Reaction Teams" along with its medical staff, to locate the tourists in stranded vehicles.
After detecting them, the Army first provided them medical care and transported them to the nearest army camps.
"In just four hours, the soldiers risking their lives, reached out to all the stranded travelers and took them to their camps/ barracks and saved their lives," the official added.
"One lady with fractured hand was given immediate medical care amongst many others who complained of dizziness, breathlessness and other high altitude related symptoms," the officials informed.
All the rescued tourists were provided, food, shelter and medical care at the army camps keeping in view the continuous snowfall and temperatures dipping to minus 10 degrees.
As per army sources, the rescue operations continued through the night to locate any other tourist in the area.
On 28 December 2018, Indian Army had evacuated over 3000 stranded tourists from Natula area in the biggest ever rescue operation carried out in Sikkim.
In fact. the social media is still flooded with messages of the rescued tourists, expressing their gratitude to the Indian Army soldiers who vacated their barracks and provided them with food, shelter and medical care.
North Sikkim Superintendent of Police K. D. Shangdarpa, along with SDM of the area and SDPO were at the spot to help the Indian Army at the spot stranded tourists.
In a message Sikkim Police said,"At least 50 (tourists)have been given accommodation by 3rd Sikh regiment camp at Dogra above Lachung and all are safe. Only the vehicles are stuck, which will be brought down tomorrow morning (Thursday) after clearing the road.
"Of the 50 people staying in army camp, those desiring to return to their hotels in Lachung are also being brought down to Lachung in Army vehicles fitted with snow chains."
The message said the road will open between Lachung to Chungthang, once snow melts.
The tourists are mostly from the plains. (UNI)