ITBP climbers bring down bodies of missing mountaineers to Pithorahgarh (Photo/ANI)
ITBP climbers bring down bodies of missing mountaineers to Pithorahgarh (Photo/ANI)

ITBP: Mission'Daredevils' ends after mountaineers bodies handed over to Dist Admin

ANI | Updated: Jul 03, 2019 22:01 IST

New Delhi [India], July 3 (ANI): Indo-Tibetan Border Police's (ITBP) mission- 'Daredevils' ended after bodies of seven out of eight missing mountaineers who were on a mission to climb Nanda Devi peak, were airlifted to Munsyari and further to Pithoragarh on July 3 with the help of Indian Air Force, said ITBP on Wednesday.
The bodies of seven mountaineers were handed over to the District Administration Pithoragarh on Wednesday.
"We couldn't locate the eighth body, we might recover it under 200ft thick snow layers which have been created due to periodic snowfall in that region," said SS Deswal, Director General, ITBP while briefing the media in Delhi today.
Deswal had briefed the ITBP team in Pithoragarh before launching the high-risk mission, the team tried to search for the eighth body but due to uneven terrain, difficult altitude and weather limitations, they couldn't find the missing body.
Speaking to ANI about the high-risk mission, Deswal said, "This operation was extremely challenging which was conducted at a height of 22,000 feet, adverse climatic conditions made it more difficult for the teams to conduct a search operation. We were unable to land our Indian Air Force helicopters due to tough climatic conditions, strong winds and uneven terrain."
After air recce on June 29 and June 30, conducted by the Indian Air Force Choppers, it was decided to first take the bodies to a lower altitude manually so that they can be airlifted near an unnamed peak near Nanda Devi East, District Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand.
Due to airlift operation failure, ITBP personnel had to carry the bodies manually to the base camp. On 1 July 2019, ITBP mountaineers with more than 11 hours of efforts, managed to take four bodies to the highest point of the ridge (18,800 ft), remaining 3 bodies were carried to the same point first next day, today the bodies were brought to Pithoragarh for postmortem.
A 10-member team of ITBP dug out the seven bodies, including that of a woman climber, from under the snow. The team had launched 'Operation Daredevil' for the missing group of mountaineers -- 4 British, 2 Americans, and 1 each from India and Australia.
Standing at a height of 25,643 feet, Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India and 23rd highest overall. (ANI)