35 IIT students traced, says Himachal official

The 35 IIT-Roorkee students, who were reported missing in snow-hit Lahaul Spiti, have been traced and are safe in Sissu village, three hours from Manali, officials said. The students, along with 10 others, were on a trekking expedition to Hampta pass, a crossover mountain pass from Manali to Chhatru in Lahaul-Spiti district. The group was last seen on September 19 by a villager near Manali, and since then there was no communication. They had reportedly reached Chandertal lake and were on return journey when it began to snow on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Lahaul-Spiti administration is also trying to locate the nine researchers from Kolkata who have been stranded somewhere near the 5480-meter high Gangstang Glacier. Five students from IIT Mandi are also stranded in Chandertal area of Lahaul-Spiti district. Meanwhile, the operation to rescue locals and tourist stranded at Koksar is likely to be launched soon. The rescue will take place through Rohtang Tunnel and snow clearing operation in Sissu has started.
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