An Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter reached Pithoragarh on Friday. The chopper pilots have chosen a spot to land at Nanda Devi base camp and will be dropping the team and the specialised equipment to the spot to facilitate retrieval of bodies of eight climbers who died while attempting to scale Nanda Devi East peak. The other team of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) also moving towards the site to retrieve the bodies is on the way to make their advance camp.
Pithoragarh District Magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande giving information about the expedition said, “An Mi 17 chopper of the IAF reached Pithoragarh on Friday and has made one trial landing on Nanda Devi East base camp. If the weather conditions permit, the chopper will be dropping the team and the necessary equipment at the base camp on Saturday. The team has a window till July 2, after that monsoon will arrive, which will make the retrieval process more difficult.”
Official spokesman of ITBP, Vivek Pandey said, “The leading team comprises 11 ITBP personnel, 10 of whom have earlier scaled many peaks. The second-in-chief rank officer Ratan Singh Sonal will be leading the mission, he has earlier climbed Dhaulagiri summit too. As of now, the team is in acclimatisation phase and is presently at Munsyari. If the weather conditions allow, they will be dropped at the base camp.”
He further added, “Director General SS Deshwal personally briefed the team regarding the expedition. He also conducted aerial reconnaissance of the mishap site and inspected the equipment. It is a difficult trek to about 20,000 feet altitude, however there will be a support team at the base camp also comprising ITBP personnel to provide help to the leading team.”
When asked about the time period the mission will take he said, “It will be till Thursday or Friday next week when the team will be setting its advance base camp near the mishap site, after that only we will be able to tell something for certain. The team will need to first acclimatise themselves with the environment and then expedite towards the site where the bodies were spotted.”
On behalf of IMF, wing commander Amit Chaudhary said, “The team is in the process to establish advance base camp. The team will be establishing two to three camps more. It will be about June 19 or 20 that they will be somewhere near the actual site where the mishap happened and the bodies were spotted.”
It is pertinent to mention here that a 12 member crew of mountain started their expedition on May 10. On May 31, the company informed the Pithoragarh district administration that four of the climbers had returned to the Nanda Devi base camp, but eight others had failed to do so. Among the eight mountaineers now presumed dead, one is Indian, one Australian, two from United States of America and four are from United Kingdom.
Saturday, 15 June 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
You might also like
- Mi-17 to drop ITBP team at Nanda Devi East base camp June 15, 2019
- CM inaugurates Malot bridge in Karnprayag June 15, 2019
- Union Minister Nishank visits Haridwar June 15, 2019
- City bus union offers additional services June 15, 2019
- Vikrams to get replaced with CNG vehicles June 15, 2019