Rescue Efforts Called-off for Missing Mountaieers, Pronouncing them 'Dead'
MUZAFFARABAD: Neelum Valley’s district administration called off on Thursday a rescue operation for three mountaineers who went missing while scaling the highest mountain of the valley on August 31, announcing they are ‘no more’.
“During the last 16 days, the district administration used all its available resources with the collaboration of Pakistan Army to find climbers who went missing on August 31 while scaling Sirwali Peak in Kel area of Neelum Valley,” said Neelum Valley Deputy Commissioner Hameed Kiyani.
“Five rescue teams were dispatched to the area in search of the climbers,” Kiyani said, whole elaborating on details regarding search and rescue efforts conducted by the administration.
“On Wednesday evening, the last three members of the rescue team returned from Sirwali where they spent two nights but were not able to find any sign of the climbers,” he said.
Kiyani added, “They found some ribbons and a bag and concluded that all three missing climbers were buried under an avalanche.”
Islamabad-based climbers, Usman, Imran and Khurram aged between 30 and 35 years, had gone missing while trying to scale the mountain in Azad Jammu and Kashmir last month.
The climbers and their facilitator club reportedly violated and bypassed all standard operating procedures issued after the 2013 Nanga Parbat massacre while entering AJK to scale Sirwali Peak.
The five-member expedition from Islamabad had ventured out on August 26 from Kel to the Domail Bala base camp to summit the peak.
Soon, three of them lost contact with the other two climbers while ascending the peak, police had said while quoting the two survivors.
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