Bodies of five missing mountaineers spotted on Nanda Devi

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Local media reports say the group were attempting to reach the summit of India's second-highest peak Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand. The two groups had begun the climb together on May 13, but inclement weather forced the four who were rescued to return to the base camp.

The alarm was raised when another British mountain guide, who was leading a separate trekking group as part of the same expedition, was informed that the climbers had not returned to base camp as expected, according the company.

On May 22, the Moran Mountain group posted on Facebook saying the team had reached their second base camp at 15,977 feet (4,870 meters).

The team is said to have been missing since May 25 when it was supposed to return to the base camp, Jogdande told reporters Saturday.

According to CNN, the company which arranged the expedition, Himalayan Run & Trek, waited a few days after the remaining members of the team failed to arrive before alerting authorities of their disappearance on May 31, Jogdande said.

Jogdande said a team was assessing the feasibility of sending a mountaineering team to the site where the bodies were spotted, which is at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,404 feet).

"We always have hope but to be practical, we have to be prepared for bad news", Indian Mountaineering Foundation spokesman Amid Chowdhury told AAP on Saturday.

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It was unclear whether the climbers went missing during their ascent or descent, or the cause of their disappearance, said the CNN report.

"Following the information about missing mountaineers, we mobilized our teams including disaster response force personnel, health teams and police, besides informing the Indo-Tibetan Border Police to initiate a rescue work".

An Australian climber, who is now recovering in a Nepalese hospital, was rescued after he collapsed while climbing Everest.

The missing mountaineers have been identified as team leader Martin Moran (UK), John McLaren (UK), Rupert Whewell (UK), Richard Payne (UK), Ruth McCance (Australia), Anthony Sudekum (USA), Ronald Beimel ( USA) and Chetan Pandey, IMF liaison officer.

State officials said that there were indications of an avalanche on the peak the climbers were presumed to be on.

On Monday, American climber Christopher Kulish became the 11th person to die on Mount Everest in recent weeks.