Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The National Emergency Management Agency is conducting a search-and-rescue mission around Otgontenger Mountain (4,008m) in Zavkhan aimag where 17 mountaineers went missing after a snowslide.
The NEMA authorities held a press conference on October 22 regarding the situation and deployment of an emergency team to reinforce the ongoing operations conducted by local emergency servicemen.
According to sources, a group of 27 mountaineers led by Master of Mountaineering Sport N.Surenjav successfully climbed Otgontenger Mountain, but the group was hit by a snowslide on their way down, as a result of which, only 10 mountaineers were able to reach the downhill.
Original reports indicated that 19 mountaineers aged 21-47 were stranded on Otgontenger Mountain, but new reports emerged Sunday evening that 10 mountaineers indeed made it down on Saturday evening. Otgontenger Mountain is located in 200 km distance from the provincial center.
After receiving the report by 2.30pm from one of the 10 mountaineers on Sunday, the NEMA branch in Zavkhan aimag immediately launched a search mission. Brigadier General G.Ariunbuyan, First Deputy Director of the NEMA, is leading the search operation in Zavkhan aimag. Weather is said to be relatively warm in the mountain area with temperatures around +7 degrees Celsius.
During the press conference, Major General T.Badral also said that the President, the Parliament Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister had been informed of the situation. “Search-and-rescue mission is being conducted on the commands of Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin,” he said.
The NEMA deployed a 19-member reinforcement team led by Colonel B.Mandakhgerel to Zavkhan aimag by helicopter around 6pm on Sunday.
According to the latest update from Zavkhan aimag on Sunday evening, local emergency servicemen started climbing the mountain around 10pm in the direction where a flash of light was reportedly seen. The rescuers from Ulaanbaatar began their operation at dawn on Monday.