Seven tourists hiking Indian Himalayas missing after Avalanche

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The Indian Himalaya Mountains are in the spotlight of tourism safety after seven tourists mountain climbing went missing last week.

The missing visitors include two Americans, four Britons, and an Australian and their Indian liaison officer.

The group was trying to scale one of the highest peaks in India, Nanda Devi East, which reaches over 24,000 feet, local authorities said.

The team of eight were part of a larger group of 12 who left the village of Munsiyari on May 13, but only four of the group returned to base camp on May 25.  Munsiyari is in the Pithoragarh District in the hill-state of Uttarakhand, India. Uttarakhand, a state in northern India crossed by the Himalayas, is known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites. Rishikesh, a major center for yoga study, was made famous by the Beatles’ 1968 visit.

Local mountaineers have reported that there was an avalanche along the route, but limited information is available. Search teams, including those supplied with medical supplies, are en route. Eleven people died this climbing season on Mount Everest, causing sherpas and others to call for new limitations on who can ascend the world’s tallest peak.