Skeletal remains of four persons killed in the Kedarnath disaster have been recovered from above Rambara on way to the Himalayan temple, seven years after the tragedy. The remains were found during a joint search operation by the police and the SDRF personnel in the area on Sunday, Rudraprayag Superintendent of Police Navneet Singh Bhullar said.
DNA samples of the remains were taken by the health department personnel accompanying the joint team before they were cremated as per Hindu rituals at Nandprayag, he said. The DNA samples will be matched later with the family members of people who went missing after the tragedy to ascertain their identities, Bhullar said.
The search operation launched on Wednesday on the orders of the Uttarakhand High Court has come to an end with the recovery of the skeletal remains, he said. With the latest recoveries, the number of Kedarnath victims whose remains have been found so far from areas surrounding the temple during successive search operations has risen to 703 while 3,183 people are still missing.
The teams consisting of 60 police, SDRF and health department personnel together conducted the search operation at a height of above 14,000 feet from the sea level. Similar search operations conducted in areas near the temple in the past had also led to the recovery of skeletal remains of a number of people.
The Kedarnath area in Uttarakhand had received unprecedented heavy rainfall between June 14, 2013 to June 17, 2013, and the Chorabari lake had collapsed due to cloudburst that had resulted in a major flash flood. Several roads, buildings and other structures were washed away and around 10,000 people were killed and over 3,000 went missing.