Stranded foreigners evacuted, airlifting suspended

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Shimla, Sep 23 (UNI) Tourists stranded in show in Sarchu of Lahaul-Spiti district are being evacuated to safer places through road as airlifting operation in the district were suspended due to overcast sky, official sources said here today.

Police sources said about 129 Indian and 35 foreigners were evacuted from the snow-bound high hills of Spiti to Kaza through road and snow clearing operations were on at a fast pace on the major roads blocked after the recent spate of snowfall in the hill state.

The police party, carrying food items and rescue equipment, escorted the tourists stranded in Sarchu valley on Friday night after heavy snowfall occurred in the tribal districts after the Army and state agencies had cleared the state highway.

A report received from Kinnaur said roads upto Maling were opened and of the 200 tourists in Sangla Valley, 19 were evacuated.

Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur, Prem Singh Negi said others tourists had, however, decided to remain at their present place.

Mr Singh said 130 sheep and goats were killed due to cold wave in the Kinnaur while 11 shepards were rescued by ITBP and police teams form various snow-bound areas.

The road link to subdivision Chopal of Shimla was cleared for traffic but all its link roads were still blocked.

At least 17 state-run buses were stranded in Chopal sub-division and 5 buses in link roads of Theog sub-division.

Hindustan Tibet Road was heavly blocked at Samdhu and Sulchar, the sources said.

The air service to Shimla, Kullu and Palampur were working smoothly but heritage train link to Shimla from Kalka had not come on track so far.


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