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IAF helicopters conduct sorties to bring down bodies of mountaineers

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Press Trust of India Pithoragarh
IAF Cheetah helicopters made two sorties Friday to see if they could airlift the bodies of mountaineers kept by the ITBP at the advance camp 600 metres below the western ridge of the Nanda Devi East peak where they were found.
But the IAF helicopters could not fly up to the 17,810 feet high ridge where the bodies have been kept by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police retrieving team, ITBP DIG, APS Nimbadia said.
However, Cheetah helicopters will try again Saturday, he said.
"Our team leader Ratan Singh Sonal, an ace mountaineer, will also accompany the IAF pilots from the base camp," Nimbadia said.
The ITBP may also decide to bring down the bodies manually up to 15,000 feet from where the Cheetah helicopters will pick them up, he said.
The ITBP climbers on June 23 retrieved seven bodies believed to be of the foreign mountaineers who went missing on way to the Nanda Devi East peak more than one month ago.
There were eight members in the team, including a liaison the officer from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
But the search for the eighth body was abandoned by the ITBP on the 14th day of the operation Thursday with the inclement weather repeatedly hampering the exercise.
An eight-member team of foreign mountaineers had gone missing on way to the Nanda Devi East peak on May 25.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 7:55 PM IST

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