Foreigner injured climbers rescued by Army

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GILGIT: The six climbers, including four Italian and two local girls, who were injured when a snow avalanche struck at Hindukush mountain range in Ghizer district on Monday, were rescued by the Pakistan Army helicopters on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, two foreign climbers have gone missing during their attempt to climb a 6,400-metre high peak in Liligo Glacier near Trango Towers in Baltistan.

A seven-member Pakistan-Italian friendship expedition comprising four Italian climbers led by Tarcisio Bellò, two local girls, Nadeema and Shakeela, students of Karakoram International University, and a guide namely Imtiaz from Shimshal valley, were hit by a snow avalanche during their adventure to climb an unknown over 5,000-metre high peak in Ishkoman valley of Ghizer on Monday.

Two foreign mountaineer go missing in Baltistan

Guide Imtiaz lost his life while six others sustained injuries, who were stranded at the site of the incident as their equipment and tents were swept away by snow mass.

The injured climbers spent night there.

Naiknam Karim, chief executive officer of Adventure Tours of Pakistan, which has organised the expedition, told Dawn that two army helicopters started rescue operation early on Tuesday, flying from Ishkoman valley and carrying three sorties.

In the rescue mission, six climbers were evacuated from above 5,000 metres altitude. However, Imtiaz’s body could not be found as yet. The stranded climbers were first airlifted to the base camp, and later to CMH Gilgit.

All the six survivors have various degrees of injuries, however, they are out of danger.

Mr Karim said high altitude porters were also searching for the body of Imtiaz. He said the Italian climbers would be sent to Islamabad when doctors permitted.

Meanwhile, two foreign climbers, Li Haoxin Chen from China and Ka Kit Ng from Hong Kong, went missing during their attempt to climb 6,400 metres high peak in Liligo Glacier near Trango Towers in Baltistan.

According to a statement issued by Alpine Club of Pakistan on Tuesday, the two missing climbers last contacted the base camp on June 14.

Pak Army has been requested to run a search operation to find the missing climbers, the statement added.

Talking to Dawn, Karar Haidari, secretary Alpine Club of Pakistan, said the rescue operation to trace the missing climbers couldn’t be initiated on Tuesday due to inclement weather. He said as soon as weather improved the army helicopters would start rescue mission.

Originally Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019

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