Britons among eight climbers missing after Himalayas avalanche

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Chloe Keedy

Several Britons are among eight climbers missing on India's second highest mountain following an avalanche.

The group was being led by experienced UK-based climbing guide, Martin Moran, who founded Moran Mountain in Lochcarron, in the Highlands of Scotland in the mid-1980s

It's understood as well as the missing Britons, there are two men from the US, an Australian woman and an Indian guide.

The University of York confirmed on Sunday that one of its lecturers, Dr Richard Payne, travelled to the Himalayas.

A spokesperson said: "We are aware of the news reports and can confirm that one of our lecturers Dr Richard Payne travelled to the Himalayas on holiday.

"We remain extremely concerned for his safety and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."

They were attempting to scale Nanda Devi in the Himalayas but failed to return to base camp on Sunday, prompting fears they could have been trapped by an avalanche.

Nanda Devi stands 25,643ft high. Credit: ITV News

President of the British Mountain Guides Association, Mark Charlton confirmed the team has gone missing.

He said: "They haven't turned up at their rendezvous point at the normal time."

He added: "Part of the Indian army have been sent in to do a search in the area to find out what's happened.

"There's been some information that there has been some avalanche activity in that area but we don't know if that is the cause of why they haven't been able to contact people.

Local mountaineers said there had been an incident on their proposed route.

Search parties have set out to reach the group's last known camp but it's expected to take several days to reach it.

Nanda Devi is the world's 23rd highest peak, standing 25,643ft high. It was first scaled in 1936.

According to the Moran Mountain website: "We are one of Britain's most experienced mountain adventure companies offering courses, tours, guiding and expeditions in Scotland, Norway, the Alps and the Himalaya.

"Founder Martin Moran, a British Mountain Guide, set out in 1985 to offer guiding in some of the worlds most stunning mountains."