Two expeditions slated to start today for retrieving bodies of climbers
The 32-member team comprising personnel of Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force is slated to start its expedition to retrieve bodies of mountaineers from near Nanda Devi East peak in Pithoragarh district on Wednesday from the base camp to the mishap site. On the other hand, a 12-member team of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) will also start its expedition on Wednesday from Bageshwar district. It will take the team two days to reach Pindari glacier, where they will be setting up their base camp.
According to the information provided by Pithoragarh district administration, the ITBP Director General, SS Deshwal on Tuesday held a meeting with ITBP personnel and the team chosen for this expedition. The fund which ITBP sought from the state government regarding the procurement of necessary equipment required for this mission has been sanctioned.
About the IMF’s plan Wing Commander Amit Chaudhary said, “Our team will reach Khati on Tuesday night and start the expedition to Pindari glacier on Wednesday morning. It will take them about two days to reach there and set the camp. Four members will stay at the base camp while the rest will move towards the mishap site. We have a window of 15 to 20 days because after that the monsoon season will be here.”
Bageshwar district magistrate Ranjana Rajguru said, “We had a meeting with IMF members including the team leader Dhruv Joshi on Tuesday. The team consists of 14 members including two cooks. Our disaster management department is well equipped and thus we will assist them with anything in our power.”
It is pertinent to mention that the IMF on May 31 had informed Pithoragarh district administration that eight mountaineers had not returned to the Nanda Devi East base camp. On June 3, Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters spotted five bodies near Nanda Devi East; the other three mountaineers are also presumably dead. It will be recalled that IAF rescue and retrieving mission on June 5 and 6 failed due to snowfall and other factors at the avalanche site where the bodies had been spotted.
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