Footage showing the final moments of a team of climbers trying to scale the Himalayas has been released by Indian authorities. The eight-member international mountaineering team went missing during an expedition on Nanda Devi East after they were hit by an avalanche in late May. The video ends with a minor thud, a sound that officials said could be of an avalanche or snow storm that claimed their lives.
The video shows the team of mountaineers, including four British climbers, two Americans and Australian woman Ruth McCance, moments before tragedy struck. The team was reported missing on May 28 when they failed to return to base camp.
The 2-minute video shows the climbers roped together. The conditions look clear as they slowly move towards the top of the peak. But after a few seconds of recording the climb, the screen goes black. The camera, which was carried by the final climber in the line, was later found buried in snow near where seven bodies were uncovered.
“Suddenly, we noticed a loud noise,” he said. “The video went blank and stopped. “It will help us to analyze what went wrong with their mission. The GoPro has proved to be like the black box of an aircraft giving an insight into the last few moments of the climbers.”
Indo-Tibetan border police, who released the footage, said in a statement the cause of the avalanche remained a mystery, however they believed the eight climbers’ combined weight might have been the trigger.