HP Police Rescues Over 300 Tourists Near Atal Tunnel Post Snowfall

A 48-seater bus, a 24-seater police bus and one police quick reaction team were deployed for the rescue operation.

2 min read
Tourists play in the snow near the Atal Tunnel, in Lahaul-Spiti. Image used for representation. 

Over 300 tourists who were stranded near the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang were rescued by the Himachal Pradesh Police on Sunday, 3 January after a fresh snowfall, an official told PTI.

Kullu SP Gaurav Singh told PTI that some tourists who had crossed the tunnel on Saturday morning were unable to find a resting place in Lahaul due to snowfall and were stranded midway while returning to Manali.

The Lahaul-Spiti Police coordinated with Kullu Police and sent vehicles through the tunnel in the evening. But due to snow and slippery roads, the vehicles got stuck on their way to Manali.

Around 70 vehicles were deployed for the rescue operation. The vehicles included a 48-seater bus, a 24-seater police bus and one police quick reaction team (QRT).

The rescue operation that started on Saturday evening and continued after midnight was joined by the DSP and the SHO of Manali. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), also joined the operation later, the Kullu SP was quoted as saying by PTI.

All stranded tourists who were rescued from Dhundhi and South Portal of the tunnel till 12.33 am, were taken to safer places in Manali.

More snowfall is expected near the tunnel area in the coming days as per forecast made by the Meteorological Department.

The MeT Department had Issued a yellow weather warning for heavy snowfall in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday and had also forecasted rain and snowfall in mid and high hills of Himachal from 3 January to 5 January and on 8 January.

Atal Tunnel Famous Among Tourists

Atal Tunnel is the world's longest tunnel at an altitude of 10,040 feet. After its inauguration in October, it has become a major tourist destination.

The 9.02-km underpass beneath 13,058-feet-high Rohtang Pass connects Lahaul of Lahaul-Spiti district and Manali of Kullu district in the state.

(With inputs from PTI)

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