KATHMANDU: Hopes of rescuing two Indian climbers who went missing on Mount Everest dimmed further on Tuesday, given the lack of oxygen and delay in sending a team to locate them.
Paresh Chandra Nath, Gautam Ghosh, Sunita Hazra and Subhash Pal — all from West Bengal — went missing with four Sherpa guides near the 8,848-metre tall summit of the world’s highest mountain on Saturday. Though Hazra, Pal and the guides were located the next day, there was no trace of Nath and Ghosh.
Pal succumbed to altitude sickness while descending at 7,500 metres on Sunday night.
“A six-member rescue team will leave Kathmandu by helicopter on Wednesday. They will be dropped off at Camp II, from where it should take two days to reach the missing climbers and Pal,” Wangchu Sherpa of the Kathmandu-based Trekking Camp Nepal told HT.
However, there was scant hope of finding the two alive because they didn’t have adequate oxygen reserves to last them at an altitude that is regarded as a virtual ‘death zone’ for most respiratory organisms. Earlier, organisers were unable to send a team to locate the missing climbers due to the high altitude and inclement weather.
Meanwhile, Hazra was admitted to a Kathmandu hospital with severe frostbite, chest infection and altitude sickness. The 42-year-old was being attended to by her husband, Sudeb Hazra, and two other relatives.
“Sunita is an experienced climber, but she was totally shocked by what happened on the Everest. While her team members perished, she was extremely lucky to have survived,” said Sudeb.