KATHMANDU: Hopes of finding the two Indian climbers missing on Mount Everest alive dimmed further on Tuesday, with a rescue mission to locate them on the world’s highest mountain to be initiated on Wednesday.
Paresh Chandra Nath, Gautam Ghosh, Sunita Hazra and Subhash Pal - all from West Bengal - and four Sherpa guides accompanying them went missing very close to the 8,848-metre tall summit of the mountain on Saturday.
Hazra, Pal and the Sherpa guides were located on Sunday, but there has been no trace yet of Nath and Ghosh. Though Hazra was able to reach till Camp II at 6,400 metres, from where she was airlifted to Kathmandu, Pal died due to altitude sickness on Sunday night.
“A rescue team comprising six persons will leave Kathmandu by helicopter on Wednesday. They will be dropped at Camp II from where it should take two days to reach the missing climbers,” Wangchu Sherpa of Kathmandubased Trekking Camp Nepal told HT. There is little hope of finding them alive as they didn’t have adequate oxygen with them at an altitude where the supply of natural oxygen is so low that the area is called ‘death zone’ by climbers.
As efforts to trace her team members continue, Hazra, who sustained severe frostbite, chest infection and altitude sickness, is recovering in a Kathmandu hospital. “Sunita is an experienced climber, but she was totally shocked by what happened on Everest. While her teammates perished, she is extremely lucky to have survived,” said her husband Sudeb.