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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Bodies of 5 mountaineers spotted near Nanda Devi, 3 still missing

The eight mountaineers who were attempting to climb Nanda Devi East peak went missing on May 25. Four others who were stranded near the base camp were rescued on Sunday.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2019 21:17 IST
Kalyan Das
Kalyan Das
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Rescuers said the bodies were trapped in an avalanche near the  Nanda Devi East peak.
Rescuers said the bodies were trapped in an avalanche near the Nanda Devi East peak. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
         

Rescuers onboard an Indian Air Force helicopter spotted the bodies of five of the eight mountaineers missing since May 25, near an unnamed peak adjoining Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand on Monday, officials said.

The bodies were trapped in an avalanche were detected during a sortie by one of the two helicopters of IAF pressed into the search operation, Pithoragarh district administration officials said.

“On Monday morning, the IAF chopper left for a sortie from Pithoragarh at 8.51 am for the group’s last location of Nanda Devi East. During the sortie which lasted for about two hours, it detected five bodies at a height of about 5000m,” said Vijay Kumar Jogdande, district magistrate, Pithoragarh.

“The bodies were seen in the middle of an avalanche and due to its remote location and height it is difficult to recover them. The spot is about 500m away from the Nanda Devi East Peak,” he said.

Jogdande also claimed that the group lead by one of the ace mountaineers Martin Moran of United Kingdom was given permission for the expedition for Nanda Devi East peak but they moved towards another.

 

“Instead of heading there, they moved towards an unnamed peak,” Jogdande said.

District disaster management officer, Prashant Kumar said inclement weather was hampering rescue operations.

“As the weather conditions are bad, the teams involved are facing difficulties. The IAF chopper is also not able to conduct another sortie due to it,” Kumar said.