At least four people were killed and 28 people remain missing after an avalanche hit a group of mountaineers in the Indian Himalayas on Tuesday, according to an Indian mountaineering organization.
In a statement Tuesday, the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering said a team of 34 trainees and seven instructors were training on Mount Draupadi ka Danda II in the northern state of Uttarakhand when they were caught in an avalanche at around 8:45 a.m. local time.
The group was returning from the 5,670-meter (18,898 feet) peak, the statement said.
A search and rescue operation is ongoing with assistance from the Indian Air Force and state and national disaster response forces, the statement added.
“Deeply anguished by the loss of precious lives due to [a] landslide which has struck the mountaineering expedition carried out by the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi,” India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh posted on Twitter.
Last year, more than 200 people died after part of a glacier collapsed in Uttarakhand, carrying a deadly mixture of ice, rock and water that tore through a mountain gorge and crashed through a dam.