“Technical Issues” Halt Recovery Of Dead Climbers From Nanda Devi Peak

Eight climbers who were scaling the Nanda Devi peak, India’s second highest mountain are missing since the last day of May. The team left Munsiyari on the 13th May to scale the 7,434-metre Nanda Devi peak, and were scheduled to return to the base camp on Friday, 31st May.

Indian authorities immediately dispatched rescue teams comprising of SDRF, police and medical personnels. Later, the Indo-Tibetan border force joined the manhunt, and Indian air force helicopters were deployed to conduct aerial surveys. On Monday, the IAF choppers spotted five bodies partially buried in snow high on a slope.

A helicopter mission on Wednesday to remove the bodies of five missing climbers believed killed in an avalanche high in the Himalayas was halted after encountering technical problems. “No bodies have so far been recovered from the three initial sorties this morning,” Vijay K Jogdande the top government official in the remote mountain area said.

No more helicopter flights were planned for today, the Police Superintendent Ramchandra Rajguru would address a press conference today, to give an update.

The paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force is carrying out the mission to bring the bodies to the town of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand. However, the status of the other three climbers is not known, though officials have said the possibility of their survival is remote, and their bodies could be near the five that have been spotted.

Eight climbers – four from Britain, two from the United States, and one each from Australia and India were among the team who are missing.

It has been one of the deadliest climbing seasons in the Himalayas for several years. More than 20 people have been killed in the mountains, including 11 on Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak that has been plagued by poor weather, inexperienced climbers and overcrowding.

Source : Various