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Nanda Devi: ITBP team airlifted from Base Camp to Pithoragarh on Sunday

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 07, 2019, 07.28 PM (IST)

Eleven member Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) mountaineers' team who retrieved the bodies of mountaineers successfully from Nanda Devi East were airlifted from the Base Camp to Pithoragarh on Sunday.

The ITBP team will reach Delhi on Monday to call on SS Deswal, Director General of ITBP at Force Headquarters.

ITBP mission- 'Daredevils' ended after bodies of seven out of eight missing mountaineers who were on a mission to climb Nanda Devi peak was airlifted to Munsyari and further to Pithoragarh on July 3 with the help of Indian Air Force, said ITBP.

The bodies of seven mountaineers were handed over to the District Administration Pithoragarh on Wednesday.

"We couldn't locate the eighth body, we might recover it under 200ft thick snow layers which have been created due to periodic snowfall in that region," said SS Deswal, Director General, ITBP.

Deswal had briefed the ITBP team in Pithoragarh before launching the high-risk mission, the team tried to search for the eighth body but due to uneven terrain, difficult altitude and weather limitations, they couldn't find the missing body.

Speaking to ANI about the high-risk mission, Deswal said, "This operation was extremely challenging which was conducted at a height of 22,000 feet, adverse climatic conditions made it more difficult for the teams to conduct a search operation. We were unable to land our Indian Air Force helicopters due to tough climatic conditions, strong winds and uneven terrain."

An 11-member team of ITBP dug out the seven bodies, including that of a woman climber, from under the snow.

The team had launched 'Operation Daredevil' for the missing group of mountaineers -- 4 British, 2 Americans, and 1 each from India and Australia.

Standing at a height of 25,643 feet, Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India and 23rd highest overall.