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Pithoragarh District Admin Awaits Centre's Instructions 30 Hours After Spotting Bodies on Nanda Devi

Eight mountaineers, including from the US, the UK and Australia, were reported missing after they left Munsiyari on May 13 to scale the peak but did not return to the base camp on the scheduled date on May 25.

Anupam Trivedi | News18

Updated:June 4, 2019, 9:06 PM IST
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Pithoragarh District Admin Awaits Centre's Instructions 30 Hours After Spotting Bodies on Nanda Devi
A view of the Nanda Devi and Nanda Devi East twin peak as seen from near Pindari Valley in the Bageshwar district, in this photo dated April 2005 (PTI)

Pithoragarh: A day after five bodies of the eight-member mountaineering expedition attempting to climb the Nanda Devi (east) mountain in Uttarakhand Himalayas was spotted by the rescue team, officials on Tuesday said they are seeking help of the Army and other experts to spot rest of the bodies.

District magistrate of Pithoragarh district Vijay Jogdande told News18 that he has suggested to form a joint team of Army, Indian Tibetan Border Police and mountaineering experts to see if there are any survivors.

“Five bodies were spotted on June 4, we are seeking the help of experts from respective fields who will work in coordination with the district administration,” said the district magistrate.

The second round of search operations are likely to start on Wednesday.

On May 13, a 13 member expedition group began their ascend for Nanda Devi (east) mountain located at 7,434 feet from the sea level in Uttarakhand Himalayas. The group consisted of foreign nationals from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

District administration was alerted about the missing group on May 31st after a guide, who came in luck and received mobile network, informed officials.

Meanwhile, the family of the Martin Moran who is a well-known mountaineer from Britain has issued a statement.

“The climbing group had set out to attempt an unclimbed, unnamed summit, Peak 6477m, and the last contact intimated that all was well and a summit bid would be made from a camp at around 5400m. It is not entirely clear what happened from this point onwards or indeed the timeline of events,” read the statement.

Moran Mountain - a page on Facebook on May 22 posted a photo with a caption that read: “The Nanda Devi team has reached their second base camp at 4870m, their home for the next week. After a recce of the route, they will be making a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6477m”. The expedition team is said to have later lost contact with the base team.

In 2017, an eight-member Indian mountaineering group had also gone missing while it was climbing the Nanda Devi.

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