Jun 05, 2019

Mission starts to retrieve missing climbers' bodies

Indian officials have begun a risky mission to retrieve the bodies of five climbers discovered days after they went missing in the Himalayas.

Four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian made up the missing climbers, who had been attempting India's second-highest peak.

Officials told the BBC the operation was "very risky" due to harsh weather, adding success would be a "miracle".

The bodies were spotted by an Indian rescue mission on Monday.

The BBC's Shalu Yadav, reporting from the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, said the retrieval operation was "unprecedented".

"Authorities told us that the terrain was very difficult and if they were able to retrieve the bodies, it will be nothing short of a miracle," she adds.

A helicopter carrying four mountaineers from the Indo Tibetan Border police and five Air Force personnel set off towards Nana Devi on Wednesday morning.

"The helicopter will attempt to drop the mountaineers on the peak. If unsuccessful, a different strategy will be adopted," officials told the BBC.

(BBC News)