Seven climbers and their guide missing in Indian Himalayas

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The climbers were attempting to scale Nanda Devi, the second highest peak in India at just over 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) tall, local Uttarakhand District Magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande told CNN.The group has been missing since May 25; it was supposed to reach its base camp on May 26, according to Himalayan Treks, the agency which arranged the expedition. The base camp is located at 19,685 feet (6,000 meters) above sea level.The company waited a few days after the team went missing before alerting authorities of the disappearance on May 31, Jogdande said.The UK Foreign Office said in a statement it was in contact with Indian authorities following reports that the climbers were missing.Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also said it was “providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian that may be among a group of trekkers missing in the Nanda Devi area of India.”Three search teams have now reached the first base camp, which is 25 kilometers below the peak. Another team, equipped with medical and civil supplies, is also on its way. A military aircraft is expected to be sent tomorrow to help with the rescue effort. It is unclear whether the climbers went missing during their ascent or descent, or the cause of their disappearance.It follows the deaths of 11 climbers on Mount Everest this year, amid extraordinary images of queues of people waiting to get to the summit, prompting fresh concerns over the increased commercialization of mountaineering expeditions.CNN’s Swati Gupta reported from New Delhi, Sheena McKenzie wrote in London. Duarte Mendonca and Sandi Sidhu contributed to this report



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