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Bad News in Search for 8 Missing Climbers

Indian pilots spot 5 bodies, and chances of finding any survivors 'almost zero'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
In this file photo, Mt. Everest is in the middle. The missing hikers were scaling a different peak.   (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)

(Newser) – Pilots from India searching for eight missing climbers on a Himalayan peak spotted five bodies, but conditions remain too dangerous to retrieve them, reports the Guardian. Prior to that sighting, a government official had declared of the eight, "The chances of survival are almost zero now." The climbers went missing a week ago while trying to scale an unnamed peak around Nanda Devi East mountain, one of India's biggest peaks, per CNN. Two Americans identified as Anthony Sudekum, 63, of Missouri, and Ronald Beimel, 34, of Los Angeles are among the missing, along with four Britons, an Australian, and an Indian.

Authorities suspect they were engulfed in an avalanche. Heavy snow and high winds forced the search operation to the northern state of Uttarakhand to stop on Monday, and it was scheduled to resume on Tuesday. The group was being led by experienced mountaineer Martin Moran of Britain, owner of an adventure company called Moran Mountain. Nanda Devi East is 24,000 feet high, and the mountain the climbers were on is 21,000 feet. By comparison, Everest is about 29,000 feet. (Elsewhere, Sir Edmund Hillary's son says his father would be appalled at what's happening on Everest.)

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