Five bodies spotted in search for missing Himalayas climbers

A search team in the Indian Himalayas has spotted five bodies on the unnamed peak where eight climbers are believed to have gone missing a week ago.

Pithoragarh District Magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande told CNN Monday that the bodies appear to be partially buried in an avalanche on the peak in different locations.

The bodies were identified following analysis of photographs taken by a helicopter that conducted an air survey of the area earlier in the day.

By Monday afternoon local time, the search operation had stopped for the day, Jogdande said. Now, authorities are formulating a plan to recover the bodies.

On Sunday, helicopter teams saw signs of an avalanche on the peak the group were thought to be on, according to two state officials. On Monday a lone chopper went to recce the area and its crew discovered the backpack at an elevation of about 5,000 meters.

Jogdande said it was likely the missing team had been caught up in a “huge avalanche.”

“The chances of survival are almost zero now,” he said.

The missing climbers — four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and their Indian liaison officer — went missing in the region of Nanda Devi East, one of the highest peaks in India at just over 7,400 meters (24,000 feet.)

The group was attempting to scale a previously unclimbed and unnamed peak believed to be about 6,477 meters (21,250 feet) high, according to