Giripremi officials said that the rescue team on Wednesday failed to spot the missing mountaineers. “We made another rescue attempt on Thursday morning. As satellite phone connectivity is poor, we found it difficult to get in touch with the team at Camp IV,” said Chandan Chauhan of Giripremi’s Pune office.
“We fear the worst for Karar and Baidya. A rescue team is on the way. We do not have more information about the incident at this moment,” said Laxmi Ratan Shukla, the state sports and youth affairs minister.
The five-member team — Rudraprasad Haldar, Ramesh Roy and Sk Sahabuddin apart from Karar and Baidya — had set out for the final push on May 14. According to their friends, the team set out for the final push between 4.30pm and 5pm on May 14. Sahabuddin went separately while the others stayed together. Karar felt unwell after walking for around four hours. “He was already feeling sick. It seems that he had started developing High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) by the time they climbed 8,000 metres,” said a source.
While no confirmation of the events that followed could be had from the handling agency, sources said Baidya, Haldar and Roy went for the summit as Karar waited behind.
“Four of them made it to the summit,” Chauhan said. The first SOS message came from Haldar at 3.16pm on Wednesday. He sought help for Karar and Baidya. Sources said Baidya felt unwell during the descent. He had started developing HAPE. He stayed back to take rest. Both Roy and Haldar managed to climb down to the Camp IV by 10pm on Wednesday. According to Howrah District Mountaineers and Trekkers Association, they were taken down to the Camp II on Thursday. They will be taken to base camp on Friday.