Body retrieving operation at Nanda Devi peak (File Photo)
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Sunday recovered seven bodies of the eight mountaineers who went missing en route to the Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand last month, according to officials. Led by well-known British mountaineer Martin Moran, the eight-member team went missing on way to the 7434-metre-high Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district. The route to the peak begins from Munsiyari, about 132 km from the district headquarters.
Speaking to the news agency PTI, DIG A P D Nimbadia said, "A 10-member team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) dug out the seven bodies, including that of a woman mountaineer, from under the snow".
"A search is on for another body as there were eight members in the team that had gone missing on way to the 17,800-foot-high peak," Nimbadia added.
In early June, bodies of five mountaineers were sighted near an unscaled peak adjoining Nanda Devi East during an Indian Air Force (IAF) operation named 'Daredevil'.
Taking to Twitter, the IAF wrote, "Today, #IAF crew spotted five bodies in the Himalayas during a #SearchAndRescue operation for missing mountaineers. A team of eight climbers had gone missing near the Nanda Devi peak over a week ago".
Apparently, the mountaineers were perished in an avalanche while ascending an unscaled peak near the Nanda Devi East peak after they failed to scale the latter, Pithoragarh District Magistrate V K Jogdande told media.
The team consisting of climbers from across the world had left Munsiyari on May 13 to scale the peak but did not return to the base camp on the appointed date of May 25. Besides Moran, the team members were John McLaren, Richard Payne, Rupert Havel (all from the UK), Ruth Macrain (Australia), Anthony Sudekum, Rachel Bimmel (both from the US) and liaison officer Chetan Pandey.