Army teams have rescued 246 tourists, including several foreigners, who were stranded on the Leh-Manali road and various other places in Ladakh due to snow and landslides.

Army spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said on Friday that several vehicles were trapped on the road due to snowslides and landslides.

The 246 rescued civilians included 31 Bhutanese nationals, 38 Nepalese and rest Indian tourists who have been evacuated from Bharatpur to Sarchu and provided medical aid, shelter, warm clothing and hot meals. 22 civilians including 2 Australians present near Sarchu were rescued and provided medical aid.

A vehicle cum foot patrol launched from Patsio to Suraj Tal evacuated 95 civilians and brought them to Patsio. They have been provided immediate medical aid, shelter and warm clothing. Army detachments are also clearing the road wherever civilian vehicles have been stuck.

Large number of landslides and snowslides have trapped vehicles along the strategic Leh – Manali axis during past one week. The effect has been more pronounced near Baralacha-La and along the road from Killing-Sarai to Bharatpur .

The Army detachments operating from Rumtse, Pang, Sarchu, Patsio and Tandi have offered spontaneous help to people stuck at different places providing high altitude warm clothing, shelter, hot meals, medical aid, satellite communication and carrying out physical rescue missions.

A highly specialised and trained Avalanche Panther Rescue Team of Ladakh Scouts has been inducted into the affected area for rescue and relief operations. The second Avalanche Rescue Team is also being inducted shortly.

One Medical Officer and a Signals Officer have been inducted to Patsio for providing medical assistance and communication arrangements to the stranded civilians. In addition medical stores, oxygen cylinders, supplies and rations have  been airlifted by Army Aviation into the affected areas.