2 more pilgrims die, toll reaches 15

Srinagar: Two pilgrims today died after suffering cardiac arrest on their way to the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, taking the death toll during the ongoing yatra to 15, officials said.

27-year-old Rajvinder Singh, a resident of Punjab, suffered a cardiac arrest after a fall from a ridge near Railpathri along Baltal-cave route in Ganderbal district, the officials said.

45-year-old Pyarai Lal of Uttar Pradesh too, died of cardiac arrest at Sangam along the traditional Pahalgam-cave route in Anantnag district.

Their bodies were brought to Baltal base camp and handed over to their next of kin for last rites, the officials said.

With this, the death toll in the ongoing yatra has risen to 15. The deceased include 14 pilgrims and a CRPF jawan who died yesterday while on duty near the lower cave.

The annual pilgrimage commenced on July 2 and so far over 2.15 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam, the officials said.