Three Russian tourists missing in India's Himalayas

Other News Materials 16 October 2007 17:54 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - Rescuers in India are searching the Himalayas for three Russians who went missing in the world's highest mountain range at a height of 5 kilometers ( 16,400 feet) above sea level.

An official at the Russian embassy in New Delhi, Vyacheslav Topchyan, said on Tuesday, "The rescue operation is being hampered by poor weather conditions as it has been snowing heavily for two days and the Russians have not been found yet."

A team of ten Russians set off on a 92-kilometer ( 57 miles) high-altitude trek from Gangotri to Badrinath in the northern state of Uttarakhand on September 27 and then split into two groups.

The first group successfully reached their final destination, but the second, more inexperienced team, was trapped in mountains due to heavy snow.

The spokesman said that later the second group except for two Muscovites, who felt unwell, managed to climb Mount Kalindi at a height of 6 kilometers ( 19,700 feet), situated midway to Badrinath.

On October 10, two of the team went to the nearest village of Gastoli to find help, while a fifth Russian stayed with the two remaining Russians. Two days later the two "rescuers" arrived in Gastoli and were taken the next day to the Indian capital before returning to Moscow, but the fate of the three missing Russians is still unknown.

"The rescue operation for the Russians is continuing," Topchyan said.

This is the second incident involving Russians on this particular trek in India.

At the end of September four Russians from St. Petersburg got stranded in heavy snow in the Himalayas at an altitude of 4,480 meters ( 14,700 feet), they were later evacuated by helicopter.

A group of Russian canoeists went missing in China's Yurungkax River in early September. A month later three of the team were found dead, two survived, and the sixth Russian is still missing.