Army Jawans rescue 584 tourists stranded in Nathula snow

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Kolkata, Feb 18: Army jawans rescued 584 tourists, including 106 women and 14 children, who were left stranded when unexpected heavy snowfall caused major road blocks in Sikkim's Nathula, officials said on Tuesday.

Army personnel under Trishakti Corps cleared over 100 vehicles in two separate locations in Nathula on Sunday. In the first incident, 250 tourists got stranded near milestone 17, where a tourist vehicle tilted precariously due to heavy snowfall blocking nearly 40 other vehicles.

Men in olive greens swung into action and rescued all tourists to a safe place.

A team of army men comprising two junior commissioned officers and 10 jawans led by Subedar Major K M Chandgude from a nearby army transit camp on patrol cleared the snow, making it possible for the stranded vehicles to return to Gangtok by evening.

Elsewhere near Nathula, 334 tourists, including 106 women and 14 children, in 65 vehicles got stranded due to inclement weather and heavy snow were also rescued, army officials said.

With weather turning worse and life threatening, the men in olive greens swung into action and rescued all tourists to a safe place. Besides sheltering them through the night the army men also provided them hot beverages and food.

Telephone facilities were also provided to them to contact their near and dear ones.

Yesterday morning, after breakfast, vehicles were arranged to transfer them to Gangtok. Located around 56 km from Gangtok at an altitude of 14450 ft, Nathula is close to the Indo-China border and is a major tourist destination in Sikkim.

PTI

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