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A Rescue mission has been conducted for the search and rescue of the Kang Guru Himal Expedition team. Due to heavy snow fall in the mountain especially in the Annapurna region which caused an avalanche at the base camp of Kang Guru Himal on third week of October 2005 in which the climbing team was missing. After receiving a request call from French Embassy about missing French climber and Nepali climber and staff, Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal was involved in the coordination of Search and rescue mission. A seven member search and rescue team was sent to the site of Kang Guru Himal in the morning of 23 October, 2005 by MI 17 Helicopter. The Helicopter which carry the search and rescue team picked up 3 porters down to Pokhara, who were able to come down from the Base Camp and one porter joined with the rescue team ( 4 porters were saved). The French Embassy in Nepal played very important role in this rescue mission. The expedition team was organized by Churen Himal Treks and Expedition.
Due to the snow avalanche 7 French climbers and 11 support staffs including porters were missing since Thursday October 20, 2005. Beside them four of the supporting staff (porter) survived the fatal accident. Three of them were rescued on Sunday October 23 by the helicopter that took our first rescue team and one porter joined with the rescue team.
After we have been informed by the French Embassy about the accident on Friday October 21 HRA immediately coordinated 'Search and Rescue' work. On Saturday October 22rd due to bad weather condition and unavailability of helicopters in Kathmandu in time we could not send the rescue team. On Sunday October 23 we sent a rescue team of 7 members in the leadership of Mr. Padam Ghale. On Monday October 24 we sent 2nd rescue team of 11 members.
Chairman of HRA Mr. Bikram Neupane also flew to Meta to see the situation. The helicopter dropped them at Meta which is about 2 and half hour walk to the accident place. The weather and ground condition was not favorable for rescue and search work. The team leader called from the base camp on Monday October 24 and informed that there is a very slim chance of any survival. Despite the adverse weather and ground condition rescue and search work continued. On Tuesday October 25 a body of a French climber was found. He has been identified as Mr. Bruno Chardin. His body was brought to Kathmandu on 26 October 2005. All the members of the rescue team except 2 members returned back to Kathmandu. On 26 October, 4 French and 3 representatives of the Nepalese support staffs flew to Meta to actually see the situation there. All of them returned back to Kathmandu to re-organize the mission on 26 October 2005.
The Rescue & Search team returned back to Kathmandu because it has been identified that all of them are buried in the deep gorge which can be anywhere between 50 to 100 meter deep. The leader of the 'Rescue & Search Team' reported that at the moment it is best to re-organize and coordinate with the related members of the expedition team and French Embassy.
Few meetings were held in Kathmandu to organize the mission in effective manner. Detail technical discussion were held about conducting second phase of search and rescue mission and it was decided to send search and rescue team to conduct second phase of mission on 31 October 2005 comprising of 25 Nepali search and rescue member, 5 French search and rescue members, 2 mountain rescue dogs (brought from France) and 7 Kitchen support staff. All of them flew from Kathmandu to Meta on 31st oct. by 1 Equerel Helicopter and 2 MI 17 Helicopter to search remaining 6 French climber and 11 Nepali staff. This mission was in operation with a joint effort of Nepalese and French Team.
It was informed by the Search and rescue team that one dead body of French climber (unidentified) was found on 11 November 2005 at 02.10 pm.
On Thursday, 3rd November 2005, French Ambassador to Nepal HE Mr. Michel Jolivet and Chairman of HRA and coordinator of this mission Mr. Bikram Neupane visited to accident place and Meta to supervise the ongoing search and rescue operation.
The Team worked very hard to find remaining missing people using all the available techniques. It was due to too much snow condition and arrival of winter, the team realized impossible to find missing people and not necessary to continue further search. So that the team decided to return back to Kathmandu and flew back to Kathmandu on Saturday 5th November 2005.