Indian Air Force helicopters Monday spotted the bodies of five of the eight mountaineers who went missing during a trek to the Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand, news agency PTI reported.
The bodies were found near an unscaled peak adjoining the Nanda Devi East peak during an aerial search operation by IAF helicopters. The search operation was conducted in the region based on the inputs provided by four other British climbers who were rescued on Sunday.
Led by well-known British mountaineer Martin Moran, an eight-member team of mountaineers, including an Indian officer, Chetan Pandey, went missing last week.
Besides the Indian officer, Moran’s team includes John McLaren, Richard Payne and Rupert Havel from the UK, Anthony Sudecam and Rachel Bimmel from the US and Ruth Macrain from Australia.
“We are sending a report to the Centre. Further rescue operation will be conducted after we get instructions,” Pithoragarh District Magistrate VK Jogdande was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“We have an expert team from State Disaster Response Force, besides experts from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. In addition to these teams we have stationed our search teams at Laspa and Bugdiyar camps close to the Nanda Devi base camp in Munsiyari,” he added.
Sub Divisional Magistrate of Munsiyari KN Goswami said: “It is now ITBP and SDRF and Air Force teams that will conduct the search operation with help of expert mountaineers and local villagers.”
The team is said to have been missing since May 25 when it was supposed to return to the base camp. Search for Moran’s team began after people at the base camp alerted authorities last week.
(Inputs from PTI)