Indian rescuers to search for eight climbers missing in Himalayas

This file photo taken on November 13, 2015, shows a general view of the Himalayas from the hill-station of Kausani in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. (AFP)
Updated 02 June 2019

Indian rescuers to search for eight climbers missing in Himalayas

  • At least nine people have died on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest so far this year, the deadliest climbing season on the peak since 2015

MUMBAI: An Indian rescue team has been sent to search for eight missing climbers who had been trying to climb the summit of Nanda Devi, the second-highest peak in India, and were probably hit by a large avalanche, two state government officials said.
The officials said that they had been told that those missing include climbers from Britain, the United States, Australia and India.
The rescue effort began on Saturday when the climbers failed to return to base camp. It may take days to trek to the area where they were last known to have been, said Vijay Kumar Jogdanda, the top civil servant in Pithoragarh district of India’s mountainous Uttarakhand state.
Others in the group, who had turned back earlier, told officials late on Friday that their fellow climbers had not returned to base camp as planned, Sanjay Gunjiyal, the inspector general of police at the Uttarakhand State Disaster Response Force, told Reuters.
Rescue operations which began on Saturday were called off in the evening due to harsh weather conditions and would resume on Sunday, Gunjiyal said, adding that an air force helicopter will be used for aerial reconnaissance on Sunday. Helicopters may not be able to land anywhere in the area, given the terrain.
The climbers went missing on the Indian side of the Himalayas near the end of a climbing season that has been particularly deadly this year.
At least nine people have died on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest so far this year, the deadliest climbing season on the peak since 2015.
Indian and international news reports said that the team was led by British guide Martin Moran. On the Facebook page of his Moran Mountain company, the last public entry appears to be on May 22.
It says that the Nanda Devi team had reached their second base camp at 4,870 meters, their home for the next week.
“After a recce of the route they will be making a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6477m. In the words of (US rock climbing pioneer) Royal Robbins, ‘A first ascent is a creation in the same sense as is a painting or a song’. We wish them all the very best of luck and an incredible climb!“


Son of UK’s first surgeon coronavirus victim calls on UK to protect health workers

Updated 01 April 2020

Son of UK’s first surgeon coronavirus victim calls on UK to protect health workers

  • Family of Adil El-Tayar ask why NHS is not testing doctors on a regular basis
  • UK government under fire for not providing enough protective equipment for health workers

LONDON: The family of a Sudanese surgeon who died from coronavirus has called for the British government to do more to protect hospital staff.

Adil El-Tayar, an organ transplant consultant in London, who had also worked in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, was the first National Health Service (NHS) surgeon to die in the UK as a result of COVID-19. The 63-year-old passed away last Wednesday.

“Our view is that the NHS needs to do much more to protect the frontline workers (and) it’s unacceptable that in 2020 in the UK, there is even a question about whether the frontline workers are well protected and they should have been testing frontline staff from the very beginning,” Othman El-Tayar told Arab News.

He questioned why the NHS is not testing their doctors on a regular basis, let alone testing potential COVID-19 patients.

“They tell us just to stay at home for a week and they tell you not to come to hospital unless you become short of breath, at which point it’s too late. So don’t come to the hospital unless you’re coming to die. I mean, it’s absolutely unbelievable,” he said.

Othman said that his “father helped so many people throughout his life, not just through medicine, just as a person as well.” 

He said he hoped his father’s legacy will live on.

“People need to be aware that this isn’t just a virus and just numbers on the television screen, this is now very real.”

The UK government came under renewed pressure Tuesday over the shortage of protective equipment for health workers and the lack of coronavirus testing available for doctors and nurses.

Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, apologised for the delay in getting personal protective equipment to NHS staff.

El-Tayar was volunteering on the front lines against the outbreak in a hospital in central England. 

His cousin, the British-Sudanese broadcast journalist Zeinab Badawi, paid tribute to the surgeon.

“He wanted to be deployed where he would be most useful in the crisis,” she said on the BBC.

On Monday, health workers paid tribute to another Sudanese-born health worker who died from coronavirus in the UK.

Amged El-Hawrani, 55, an ear, nose and throat consultant, died in Leicester on Saturday.