'Black box' reveals last moments of doomed Himalayan climbers

phys.org | 6/10/2019 | Staff
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Indian authorities on Monday showed heart-wrenching images of the final moments of an international team of climbers swept away in an avalanche as they attempted to scale an unconquered Himalayan peak.

The 154 second clip shows the four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and their Indian guide roped together in bright sunshine as they take nervous, synchronised steps along a narrow ridge towards a snow-capped peak.

Screen

Then the screen goes blank.

"Suddenly we noticed a loud noise. The video went blank and stopped," said Vivek Kumar Pandey, spokesman for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Ridge - Cornice - Weight - Avalanche - AFP

"They were crossing a very dangerous ridge. The snow cornice must have given away because of their weight, triggering an avalanche," he told AFP.

The camera, that was carried by the final climber in the line, was found buried in snow near where seven bodies were uncovered.

Climber - Team - Leader - Martin - Moran

An eighth climber, British team leader Martin Moran, is still missing, according to Indian authorities.

In addition to Moran, the climbers were Britons John McLaren, Rupert Whewell and University of York lecturer Richard Payne, US nationals Anthony Sudekum and Ronald Beimel, Australian Ruth McCance and Indian guide Chetan Pandey.

Footage - APS - Nambadia - ITBP - Deputy

"It was mesmerising for us to see the footage," said A.P.S. Nambadia, the ITBP deputy inspector general who planned the operation to retrieve the bodies.

"It will help us to analyse what went wrong with their mission," he told a press briefing.

GoPro - Box - Aircraft - Insight

"The GoPro has proved to be like the black box of an aircraft giving an insight...
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