Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rescuers yet to reach Musa stranded on mountain in Indonesia

  • News Desk, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-06-18 13:30:59 BdST

bdnews24
Musa Ibrahim (left), Nandita Chandrashekhar (centre) and Satyarup Siddhanta seen in this picture taken on Jun 6. Photo: Facebook/Satyarup Siddhanta

Rescuers were yet to reach Musa Ibrahim and two other mountaineers at a base camp in Indonesia where the team has been stranded for four days.

Bad weather grounded the three, including Indian mountaineers Satyarup Siddhanta and Nandita Chandrashekhar, after they climbed down from Carstenz Pyramid, the tallest summit of Mount Carstensz in Papua Province. 

They were stuck at Lake Valley, the base camp at the elevation of 4,275 metres, Musa told bdnews24.com in a text message sent through Satyarup’s satellite communicator at 12:36pm Sunday.

Message posted by Satyarup Siddhanta on satellite communicator after scaling Carstenz Pyramid on Jun 13.

Message posted by Satyarup Siddhanta on satellite communicator after scaling Carstenz Pyramid on Jun 13.

He said the team exhausted its supplies and was depending on food left behind by previous campers to spend the night before rescue efforts resume on Monday.  

Meanwhile, a helicopter headed for rescue was forced to return on Sunday morning because of adverse weather conditions. 

The team climbed down to Carstenz Pyramid on Jun 13 and had been stranded since, Rafa Uddin, a member of North Alpine, Musa's mountaineering club, told bdnews24.com. 

Facing bad weather and shortage of supplies, the team decided to stop trekking on Jun 15 and began contacting home for a helicopter off the mountain. 

The news spread fast on social media as Musa’s friends and followers at North Alpine began urging for help. They eventually contacted State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam. 

The minister then posted a status on early Sunday, saying the team has been contacted by the Bangladesh Embassy in Indonesia. A helicopter was on standby at the Papua’s Timika airport, waiting for weather to improve, he said.  
 

Message posted by Satyarup Siddhanta on satellite communicator after scaling Carstenz Pyramid on Jun 13.

Message posted by Satyarup Siddhanta on satellite communicator after scaling Carstenz Pyramid on Jun 13.

“ASEAN headquarters, our embassy and Indian Embassy are monitoring them. Keep them in your prayers,” Alam wrote.

But the morning weather was suitable for an evacuation, wrote Musa’s sister Noor Ayesha on Facebook. But the helicopter was delayed by Timika airport authorities who took four hours to issue a permit. Clouds engulfing the area then forced the helicopter to return without the stranded mountaineers.  

Musa came to be known as the first Bangladeshi to scale Mt Everest following his 2010 expedition. 

On May 29, he left Dhaka for Indonesia where he was joined by Satyarup and Nandita for their expedition named – Bangladesh-India Friendship Expedition to Mt Carstenz Pyramid. 

The team started for the base camp from Sugapa on Jun 6 and reached there after a six-day trek, according to Satyarup's satellite communicator records.

Carstensz Pyramid is the highest mountain of Oceania. The 4,884-metre peak in Indonesia’s Papua Province is locally known as Puncak Jaya. Wasfia Nazreen, the first Bangladeshi mountaineer to conquer seven peaks of the world, scaled the Carstensz Pyramid in 2015.