The death toll following sudden heavy rains that caused flash floods during an annual Hindu pilgrimage Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir has reached 16, officials say, with more than 40 people missing.

The sudden deluge left at least 15,000 people stranded on their trek to a sacred Himalayan cave. Indian army units have evacuated most of the pilgrims to a base camp.

At least four helicopters have been deployed to transport the injured to hospitals, authorities said Saturday.

The rains destroyed about two dozen camps and two makeshift kitchens, The Associated Press reports.

Emergency workers are continuing to search for missing people during the inclement weather.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press. 

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