2 More Amarnath Pilgrims Die


SRINAGAR —  Two Amarnath pilgrims died in the past 24 hours en route to the holy 3,880 metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, taking the death toll in this year’s pilgrimage to 16, official sources said Monday. 

 A woman pilgrim from Rajasthan died at the Baltal base camp due to a cardiac arrest, while a male pilgrim from Madhya Pradesh collapsed while moving towards the base camp, they said. 

The death toll in this year’s Amarnath Yatra has gone up to 16 which includes 12 pilgrims, two ‘sevadars’ (volunteers) and two security force personnel posted on duty. 

The sources said 30 people sustained injuries due to shooting stones and other causes since the pilgrimage began on June 30. 

Deaths due to cardiac arrest triggered by lack of oxygen in areas around the cave shrine have been common over the years, prompting the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to issue regular health advisories to the pilgrims. 

All pilgrims are required to get fitness certificates before undertaking the pilgrimage. 

More than 1.7 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance to the naturally formed ice-lingam in the cave shrine in the last 15 days. 

Multi-tier security arrangements have been made for the smooth and successful conduct of the Yatra, which will conclude on August 15. 

Meanwhile, Amid tight security, the 14th batch of 5,210 Amarnath pilgrims left a base camp here on Monday for the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir. 

As many as 8,734 pilgrims paid obeisance to Lord Shiva in the shape of ice lingum at the Amarnath cave shrine on Sunday, thereby taking the total to 1,82,712 pilgrims, who have visited the holy site in the past 11 days. 

Over 1.85 lakh pilgrims from across the country have so far registered themselves for the 46-day-long pilgrimage. 

As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave last year. The number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3.20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017.

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