Pakistan Army’s search for Pakistani mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Iceland’s John Snorri and Chile’s Juan Pablo Mohr entered the third day with helicopters hoping for a miracle to find the missing men alive.
Gilgit Baltistan’s Home Secretary Muhammad Ali Randhawa shared pictures taken of the K2 on the Pakistan Army Aviation Helicopters during the search operation.
Earlier, Randhawa had tweeted saying that the third-day helicopter search mission by Pakistan Army aviation began at 9:30am.
The secretary had shared the update once the helicopters had reached the basecamp.
“Dawa Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks will again guide the helicopters at K2 where to see, possible targeted areas to spot the missing bodies,” said the secretary. He had also warned that the weather was “building up today”.
Chances of Ali Sadpara's survival 'next to none', says son Sajid
On Sunday, Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of Muhammad Ali Sadpara, had said that the chances of his father being alive "are next to none".
In a conversation with reporters in Skardu, where he arrived earlier on Sunday, Sajid said: "Rescue operations now only make sense if they are carried out to bring back his body. Otherwise, the chance for anyone to survive at 8,000 metres [after being missing for] two to three days are next to none."
Sajid said that a team of four mountaineers began their climb at around 11pm-12am on February 5 (the night between Thursday and Friday).
"Unfortunately, I was without oxygen and at a height of about 8,200 metres in the winter. I felt like my health was getting affected as well as my mental well being."
"My father was carrying another oxygen tank which he offered me to use. But as I began fitting the oxygen mask regulator, it leaked. So, I had to climb down," he narrated.
Sajid said that the last time he saw his father was at the bottleneck at around 8,200-8,300 metres, the most "technical portion" of the climb, at around 11am on Friday.
"I'm sure he summited the peak and was on his way back after which he encountered an accident which is why he is missing," he said.
Sajid arrives in Skardu
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner of Shigar had confirmed the safe arrival of Sajid Sadpara in Skardu.
He said helicopters had searched the area with Sajid and Dawa Sherpa who was leading the K2 winter expedition, up to an elevation of 7,800 metres but "found no clues due to bad weather".
Mountaineers go missing
Sadpara and two other mountaineers — John Snorri from Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile — had gone missing on Saturday after which a search operation to retrieve them was launched.
Helicopters flew to a height of 7,000 metres on Saturday afternoon in their attempt to locate the missing mountaineers but were unable to find any clue to their whereabouts.
It had been reported two days ago that Sadpara and his team had successfully summited the 8,611-metre K2 — the world's second highest mountain — late Friday, a month after their first attempt failed.
However, their support teams had since then cautioned that the climbers' status is unclear and there has been no communication from their end since Friday.
Mountaineers set off on journey
Sadpara, Snorri and Mohr had departed for their journey a day after Sadpara's birthday in the wee hours of Wednesday, asking fans and admirers to "keep us in your prayers".
They had started their attempt for the final summit in the early hours of Friday, hoping to accomplish the herculean feat by Friday afternoon.
According to updates posted on Snorri's Facebook account on Friday, at 12:29pm, the GPS stopped working and had not updated in six hours.
It stated that Sajid had to return due to his oxygen regulator not working. "They were at a bottle neck at around 10am," the account said.
Citing feedback from Sajid, the account stated that everyone was fine otherwise and going at a good pace until he had been with them.