No clue to missing Indian climber: Nepal

Kathmandu: Eight days after a deadly avalanche on Mt Kanchenjunga West swept away Indian climber Chhanda Gayen, Nepal’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry Tuesday admitted failure in efforts to search for the experienced woman mountaineer.

The search and rescue operation, conducted since Chhanda went missing along with two Sherpas May 19, yielded no result, said the ministry in a press statement here.

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On May 24, an extensive search operation was carried out, among others, with the help of Indian climber Nag Tashi Sherpa, who was an eyewitness to the accident, but the effort failed due to bad weather conditions around the Kanchenjunga area, said the ministry.

“Again, we sent a helicopter for search and rescue Monday but the helicopter could not make any headway on the treacherous mountain due to bad weather. We are waiting for fair weather to continue the search and rescue operation to find the missing persons,” the statement said.

Though officials claimed that there were slim chances of the climbers surviving as it has been more than eight days since they went missing in the huge snow avalanche, the search operation will be continued till their bodies are found.

An avid climber from West Bengal state of India, Chhanda went missing at the height of 7,500 metres of Kanchenjunga West, also known as Mt Yulan Kang, with two high altitude Sherpas.

The government of India is also monitoring and involved in the search operation since the three went missing. Chhanda had taken permission for climbing the mountain for a period of 75 days.