Indian Air Force (IAF) has pressed its transport and helicopters into service for rescue and relief operations after a cloudburst incident near the cave shrine of Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 16 people have died in the cloudburst incident that took place on Friday evening and damaged several tents.

“Indian Air Force has pressed its transport and helicopter assets into service for rescue and relief operations at Amarnath. Mi-17V5 helicopters have inducted NDRF and civil administration personnel at Panchtarni and rescued 21 survivors. The helicopters have also brought back six mortal remains. Further operations by IAF Mi-17V5 and Cheetal helicopters are in progress. Aircraft are on standby at all major air bases in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas,” IAF said in a statement.

NDRF DG Atul Karwal told ANI on Saturday that there are 16 people have died and about 40 still seem to be missing.

“There is no landslide, but rain continues, though there is no problem in rescue work. Four NDRF teams with over 100 rescuers are in rescue work. Besides, Indian Army, BSF, SDRF, CRPF and others continue with the rescue operation,” he said.

ITBP PRO Vivek Kumar Pandey said rescue operation has been intensified.

“Around 30-40 people are still missing we have got information from the local administration. The weather is clear near the Amarnath cave. The injured people have been brought to the base using helicopters. Yatra is still on hold and we are advising people not to move ahead,” he said. (ANI)