Kolkatta: Mountaineer Chhanda Gayen, the second civilian woman from West Bengal to scale Mount Everest, has gone missing after she was caught in an avalanche on the Kanchenjunga peak, a state minister said on Wednesday.
The West Bengal government has swung into action to rescue the missing woman, Housing Minister Arup Biswas said in Kolkata.
“Gayen and two of her Sherpas who had gone on an expedition to Kanchenjunga have gone missing after being caught in an avalanche. We have contacted the Nepal government and the external affairs ministry to ensure they are rescued at the earliest,” he said.
Mr Biswas said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called up the Nepal government, which has deployed a helicopter to search for the missing mountaineer and the Sherpas.
Ms Gayen in May 2013 became the second woman from West Bengal to reach the ‘top of the world’. Kunga Bhutia from Darjeeling was the first civilian woman from the state to have climbed the peak on May 22, 1993.