A family vacation turned into a nightmare when Divakaran Palangal (68), a tourist from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, lost his life at Baralacha Pass on the treacherous Manali-Leh road. The unforgiving cold and oxygen deprivation proved fatal for Palangal, highlighting the dangers faced by travellers in the region.

On Thursday, a convoy of vehicles travelling from Leh to Manali found themselves stranded at Baralacha Pass, caught amidst heavy snowfall. Despite valiant rescue efforts by the police, who managed to safely evacuate 65 people to Keylong by midnight, Palangal tragically succumbed to the harsh conditions at the pass before he could be rescued.

Prompt action was taken by authorities, who swiftly transferred the deceased to Keylong Hospital for a post-mortem examination. Preliminary findings indicate that the extreme cold and lack of oxygen played a significant role in his untimely demise.

The ill-fated family had been travelling in a tempo traveller from Leh to Manali when they encountered the harsh realities of the region upon reaching Baralacha Pass. Snowfall intensified, causing their vehicle to become immobilized in the treacherous terrain. Stranded at the pass, they awaited rescue until the police arrived late at night, successfully evacuating everyone except Palangal, who sadly succumbed to the brutal weather conditions.

SP Lahaul-Spiti, Mayank Chowdhary, provided further insight into the incident, explaining that after the completion of the post-mortem examination, Palangal’s body was handed over to his grieving relatives. Authorities are extending support and assistance to the family during this tragic period.

This unfortunate event serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability of high-altitude travel and the paramount importance of exercising caution, particularly during inclement weather. Travellers are strongly advised to stay informed about prevailing weather conditions and plan their journeys accordingly, prioritizing safety above all else. The incident underscores the inherent risks associated with traversing mountainous terrain and emphasizes the need for meticulous preparation before embarking on such journeys.