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Four ITBP trekkers, five IAF personnel join search for tourists missing in Nanda Devi

Four climbers have been rescued while bodies of five have been recovered so far. Three more climbers - part of a multi-nation team - are still missing.

Four ITBP trekkers, five IAF personnel join search for tourists missing in Nanda Devi

Four highly-trained trekkers from the Indo-Tibetan Police Force (ITBP) and five personnel from the Indian Air Force on Wednesday morning joined search operations for tourists who went missing en route Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand.

While bodies of five of the eight missing trekkers were spotted on Monday, search operations are still continuing to locate the other three who were part of the multi-nation team of trekkers from the US, UK and Australia. The team of ITBP and IAF personnel, who took off from Munsyari, will now assist in the search operations and departed for Nanda Devi Base camp in an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The ITBP trekkers, in particular, will be heli-dropped by the IAF chopper at 18,000-20,000 feet near Nanda Devi East peak. The ALH, which took off from Pithoragarh on Wednesday morning, will also continue to fly sorties in a bid to locate the missing trekkers.

Led by well-known British mountaineer Martin Moran, the team went missing recently on way to the 7434-metre-high Nanda Devi East peak in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district. They 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. It is reported that the team of missing trekkers may have been at an unscaled peak adjoining Nanda Devi East peak and may have fallen victims to a sudden avalanche in the area. Four climbers from the UK - also part of the team - were rescued on Sunday during a sortie and they have since provided clues on where the others could possibly be at.