Three days after she went missing while trying to climb Mount Kanchenjunga (West) in Nepal, rescue teams are yet to find any trace of mountaineer Chhanda Gayen and two Sherpas accompanying her. Experts say her chances of survival are “negligible” but added that “miracles do happen.”
Nepal’s Consul general Friday told West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that a special team had been formed for a search operation.
“The search and rescue operations are on. We have put in our best efforts to rescue her,” the Nepal consul general said after meeting Mamata.
Chhanda and the two Sherpas went missing after they were caught in an avalanche on Tuesday while trying to climb the 8,505-metre-high peak.
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling has sent their mountaineering instructor Tushar Kanti to coordinate the rescue operation from the base camp. “We are hopeful, but her chances of survival are negligible as it is very tough to survive at a height of 8000 metres for three to four days. But miracles do happen,” HMI principal Gulshan Chadha said.
A two-member rescue team comprising veteran climbers Ujjwal Roy and Devdas Nandi, sent by the state, have also reached the Kanchenjunga base camp.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Chhanda’s residence in Howrah and assured her family members that the state was doing its best to rescue the climber.
Chhanda’s family, sources said, complained about the delay in the search operations. This came even as Mamata told the family that she intends to leave for Nepal on Saturday to oversee and expedite the rescue operation.