India sends second team to find missing climbers

India sends second team to find missing climbers

A 10-strong team will try to reach the site where five bodies were spotted, 5,000 metres up
A 10-strong team will try to reach the site where five bodies were spotted, 5,000 metres up AFP/Handout

NEW DELHI: A second team of mountaineers set off Thursday (Jun 13) to look for eight climbers, seven of them foreigners, feared killed on the country's second-highest mountain, officials said.

The 10-strong group of highly trained climbers from the paramilitary Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) set off from Pithoragarh for the base camp of Nanda Devi East peak in the Himalayas.

From there they will try to reach the site where on Jun 3 a helicopter spotted five bodies and climbing equipment in the snow, at a height of about 5,000m.

On Monday a separate team from the Indian Mountaineering Federation set off on a different route.

The four Britons, two Americans, one Indian and one Australian have not been heard from since May 26, a day before heavy snow fell and massive avalanches started.

The ITBP team is expected to reach base camp in a week and after acclimatising will try to reach the spot where the mountaineers were last seen.

"It will be (a) very challenging mission as the site is located at about 20,000 feet in between glacier and other snow hazard prone area," the ITBP said.

Attempts to drop troops by air to retrieve the bodies were aborted due to turbulent winds and the risk of further avalanches on the treacherous terrain.

Source: AFP/nc

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