3 more Amarnath pilgrims die, toll touches 80
Posted on: 05:00 PM IST Jul 18, 2011
Srinagar: Three more devotees died of cardiac arrest taking the death toll to 80 during the ongoing pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, officials said on Monday.
76-year-old M R Verma, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, breathed his last at the 3880-mt high cave shrine on Monday morning shortly after complaining of severe chest pain.
Anand Soni, aged 31, who hailed from Rajasthan, and 62-year-old Lekh Ram from Madhya Pradesh died of heart attack at Pisu top and Sheshnag halting stations respectively.
Their deaths took the number of fatalities during the ongoing yatra to the revered shrine, housing the naturally formed ice shivlingam, in south Kashmir Himalayas to 76, they said.
In addition, four Muslim porters died while guiding the pilgrims through arduous tracks since the commencement of the 46-day pilgrimage on June 29, the officials said.
The yatra is going on smoothly from both the routes -- shortest Baltal track in Ganderbal district and traditional Pahalgam base camp in Anantnag district.
The officials said 14,016 pilgrims proceeded towards the cave shrine from Baltal base camp and 6,558 from Nunwan in Pahalgam this morning.
So far, 4.35 lakh pilgrims had visited the shrine to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva, the officials said.