Mount Kangchenjunga avalanche: Search for missing climbers halted

Mount Kangchenjunga Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world and among the toughest to climb

The search for an Indian climber and two Sherpas who have gone missing in Mount Kangchenjunga has been halted because of bad weather in Nepal.

The two went missing at an elevation of around 7,000m (23,000ft) after an avalanche in the area on Tuesday.

The climber has been identified as Chhanda Gayen. The identity of the Sherpas is not known yet.

Kangchenjunga 8,586m (28,169ft) is the world's third highest mountain near the borders between Nepal, India and China.

A rescue helicopter flown to the area to locate the three climbers on Thursday morning returned because of inclement weather, Madusudan Burlakoti of Nepal's tourism ministry told the BBC.

Ms Gayen, 34, is well known for being the first civilian woman from India's West Bengal state to summit Mount Everest, reports say.

The climbers were close to the summit of the western side of Kangchenjunga when the avalanche hit them on Tuesday afternoon, Mingma Sherpa, managing director of the trekking company which organised the expedition, was quoted as saying in The Telegraph newspaper.

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