An Indian Air Force chopper on Monday found bodies of five of the eight mountaineers near Uttarakhand's Nanda Devi East peak.
An Indian Air Force chopper on Monday found bodies of five of the eight mountaineers near Uttarakhand’s Nanda Devi East peak. They were missing since May 25. Bodies were detected by one of the two choppers that were sent for search operation of the missing mountaineers.
Among the climbers – four were from Great Britain, two from the US, while one each from India and Australia. They were reported missing by their colleagues after they did not return to their base camp on Friday. As per a government official in Pithoragarh district, while four bodies were found together, one was found slightly away.
He further said that that a probe was being conducted now on the assumption that all eight climbers had been killed. “We are trying to retrieve the bodies. We believe the other three will be nearby,” the official was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Climbers were trying to climb a previously unclimbed 6,477 metre (21,250 feet) peak near Nanda Devi when they were was hit by an avalanche, said Moran Mountain, the company that organised the expedition.
The bodies were found above 5,000 metres. The search operation might face difficulty in case of another avalanche It is yet to be decided on whether a team would go on foot or by air. Earlier, four climbers in the group returned back and raised an alarm about their missing colleagues. The IAF team evacuated from their base camp and were in healthy condition.
An official from Indian Mountaineering Foundation was also part of the team. It left for Munsiyari on May 13 to scale the peak but did not return back on the base camp on May 25. Those part of the team were John McLaren, Martin Moran, Richard Payne, Rupert Havel (all from UK), Ruth Macrain (Australia), Anthony Sudekum (US), Rachel Bimmel (US) and liaison officer Chetan Pandey, the District Magistrate said, as per PTI.