Search launched after foreign climbers go missing in Indian Himalayas

A general view of the Himalayas from the hill-station of Kausani in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.
A general view of the Himalayas from the hill-station of Kausani in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (DPA) - A team of eight mountaineers, including seven foreign nationals, went missing while attempting to climb the Nanda Devi peak in the Himalayas in northern India, officials said on Saturday (June 1).

Authorities have rushed to the area a 14-member search team to rescue the climbers who went missing in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state.

Those missing include four Britons, two US citizens, an Australian and an Indian, a guide who is a liaison officer from the Indian Institute of Mountaineering, said top district official Vijay Kumar Jogdande by phone.

The team had left the Nanda Devi base camp to climb the 7,817-metre peak - the second highest in India - and were scheduled to return by Monday.

"We were informed on Friday that people at the base camp said the team had gone missing en route to Nanda Devi," Jogdande said.

"We immediately launched search operations and two teams that include disaster response personnel, border guards and paramedics are already in the area trying to track the missing climbers," he said.

"We think that they might be stuck on the way somewhere," he said, adding that a helicopter and aerial reconnaissance were being employed in the effort.

Local media reported bad weather on the route which is covered by snow and ice due to glacier movement.

The expedition group is led by renowned Britain-based mountain guide Martin Moran, who Jogdande said, has climbed Nanda Devi twice.