The suspense over the missing trekking group of Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee cleared up on Wednesday night.

The rescue team of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) ~ sent to hunt for the group ~ found them near the Gangi village in Tehri district.

According to SDRF the IIT-Roorkee trekking group decided to return from Khatling after heavy snowfall made things challenging.

The search and rescue team found the trekking group about 2 km from Gangi.

The group consisted of 19 boys, 3 girls, 3 porters and one guide. The IIT students stayed at Reeh on Wednesday night. Satrughan Prasad, a member of SDRF, said, “The IIT trekking group took a private vehicle from Reeh to Ghansali and after that the university bus for their journey to Roorkee. The group said that after witnessing bad weather and heavy snowfall they decided to abandon the trek and return.”

The 26-member group started their trek from Gangi (Tehri) on 20 September. After trekking about 25 km and passing through remote locations in the thick Kharsao forest and wide open beautiful lush grassy meadows, the group reached Khatling glacier.

Heavy snowfall made walking difficult and the students decided not to take any risks and return to Gangi village. The Uttarakhand government had dispatched two rescue teams on Wednesday and even conducted air search operation.

The group failed to establish contact with any local authority. Rather than walking another 35-40 km to reach Kedarnath, they opted to return to Gangi. The health of each member is fine and they are all set to reach IIT-Roorkee by Thursday night.