Dozens of Trainee Mountaineers Dead or Missing in Avalanche

Avalanche hit group of 34 trainees, 7 instructors in Indian Himalayas
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2022 5:15 PM CDT
Dozens of Trainee Mountaineers Dead or Missing in Avalanche
Mount Draupadi ka Danda II.   (Amar/Wikimedia Commons)

The Indian Air Force has joined search and rescue efforts in the Himalayas, where at least 10 people were killed in an avalanche Tuesday and dozens more are missing. Authorities say the avalanche hit a group of 34 trainee mountaineers and seven instructors on Mount Draupadi ka Danda II in the northern state of Uttarakhand, which borders Tibet and Nepal, the BBC reports. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering trainees were descending from the 18,898-foot peak. The institute says the expedition was part of a 28-day course in advanced mountaineering.

Rajnath Singh, India's defense minister, said he was "deeply anguished by the loss of precious lives," reports CNN. Authorities say search and rescue efforts resumed Wednesday after pausing overnight due to rain and snow. Hilaree Nelson, one of America's top climbers, died in an accident in the Nepali Himalayas last week. Conservationists say pent-up demand from the pandemic has made the Himalayas very busy this year, putting the "fragile" mountains under pressure and possibly causing avalanches, the Times of India reports. (Read more mountaineers stories.)

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