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Seven mountaineers and their guide are missing in the Indian Himalayas



The group attempted to board Nanda Devi East, one of the highest and most difficult to climb summits in India, at an altitude of just over 7,400 meters, local Uttarakhand District Judge Vijay Kumar Jogdande told CNN.

] The missing eight belonged to a larger team of twelve that left Munsiyari village on May 13th. But 12 days later, on May 25, only four members of the group returned to the base camp, said RD, Senior District Official of Uttarakhand Paliwal.

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According to Jogdande, the entire group was due to reach base camp on May 26. The base camp is located at 19,685 feet (6,000 meters) above sea level.

The company that hosted the expedition, Himalayan Run & Trek, waited several days after the remaining members of the team had not arrived before informing the authorities of their arrival on May 31, Jogdande said.

The Indian liaison officer, who is among the missing persons, is from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation based in New Delhi.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it was in contact with the Indian authorities after reportedly missing mountaineers.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Commerce also said it offers "consular support for an Australian's family. This could be part of a group of migrants missing in the Nanda Devi region of India."

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Three search teams have now reached the first base camp, which is 25 kilometers below the summit. Another team, equipped with medical and civilian care, is also on the way. A military aircraft is expected to be dispatched tomorrow to help with the rescue efforts.

It is unclear whether the climbers disappeared during the ascent or descent or why they disappeared.

It follows the death of 11 climbers on Mount Everest this year, amidst extraordinary images of queues of people waiting to be found at the summit, raising new concerns about the increasing commercialization of mountaineering expeditions.

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