Low Oxygen Concentration at High Altitude Common Cause of Fatalities among Pilgrims
Pahalgam, July 20: With the death of three more pilgrims on their way to the holy Amarnath cave in the Kashmir Valley, the death toll during the current year’s annual pilgrimage rose to 30.
On July 18, officials confirmed 30 casualties of pilgrims in the south Kashmir Himalayas during the 2023 Yatra. The three pilgrims who succumbed on Sunday hailed from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Doctors said that at least two of the three deceased pilgrims died due to cardiac arrest. However, the cause of the death of the third victim was not immediately known. The cardiac arrest triggered by low oxygen concentration at high altitudes is one of the main causes of fatalities among Amarnath pilgrims.
While the two pilgrims died on the Pahalgam route, the death of another pilgrim occurred on the Baltal route. One officer of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) posted on pilgrimage duty was also among the deceased.
According to official statistics, from 1 July 2023 till now, about 2,30,000 pilgrims have visited the cave to see the ice lingam formation there. The 62-day annual pilgrimage to the 3,888-metre-high cave in the south Kashmir Himalayas commenced from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag district in South Kashmir and Baltal in Ganderbal district in north Kashmir on July 1. The pilgrimage will officially conclude on August 31.