SRINAGAR: In the past 36 hours, five Amarnath Yatris have lost their lives, bringing the total number of devotee deaths during this year’s annual pilgrimage to 24.
According to officials, the majority of these fatalities were a result of high altitude sickness leading to oxygen deprivation and subsequent cardiac arrest.
The officials stated, “Of the five deaths, four occurred on the Pahalgam route while one was reported on the Baltal route. The victims included an ITBP officer who died during Yatra duty. The victims hailed from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat.”
Experts have emphasised that locations situated at high altitudes have thin air with lower oxygen concentration. Combined with exhaustion and pre-existing respiratory conditions, this often leads to fatal outcomes.
The Amarnath cave shrine, located at an elevation of 3,888 meters above sea level, poses challenges for pilgrims in terms of acclimatization.
To address these concerns, authorities have implemented several measures. Junk food has been banned at the free kitchens (Langars) established for the Yatris. This includes halwai items such as parathas, puris, sweets, and cold drinks.
Additionally, the sale of cigarettes has been prohibited within and around the base and transit camps of the Yatra.
The current year’s Yatra, which started on July 1 and will conclude on August 31, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival, spans a duration of 62 days.