Two French trekkers in their twenties have gone missing in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas after breaking away from their group near the mountain town of Dharamshala, police said Monday.
“Over two dozen people are searching for the missing trekkers in the Dhauladhar mountain ranges,” local police chief Balbir Singh Thakur told AFP by phone.
“We are now considering an air search operation with the help of the Indian air force ,” Thakur added.
The two men, aged 20 and 21, were part of a 32-member foreign group of trekkers near Dharamshala, the home town of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The pair were reported missing last Thursday after deciding to carry on walking and explore the higher reaches of the nearby mountains when the rest of the group returned to its base camp.
The area is known for sudden changes in weather and heavy rainfall during the current monsoon season.
“The search operation is on at 15,000 feet (4,500 metres), where we have no form of communication. Yesterday we spotted some movement but this may have been an animal ,” Thakur said.
Last year an Indian journalist trekker was found dead in the area.
[Hill with prayer flags, Dharamsala, in Himalaya mountains. India via Shutterstock.com.]