China / Society

Chinese rescuers in Myanmar to search for missing mountaineers

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-13 20:11

YANGON - A nine-member Chinese rescue team arrived in Yangon by plane Saturday en route to Putao in northernmost Kachin state of Myanmar, to help search for two Myanmar mountaineers who have been missing on the snow-capped Mount Hkaka Borazi for 13 days.

The Blue Sky Rescue (BSR) Team, which is China's largest civilian rescue team, will help Myanmar launch the search operation.

Among the Chinese team members are some mountaineers who once participated in mountaineering trip to the Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, and had rich experiences in mountain search and rescue activities.

"Our rescue team arrives here upon the invitation of the civilian rescue organization of Myanmar and out of humanitarian consideration as well as China-Myanmar friendship," said team leader An Shaohua, who has once been to the peak of Mount Everest, on his arrival at the Yangon International Airport.

"We will endeavor to search for the two missing climbers in cooperation with local rescue teams," he added.

Paw Myint Oo, chief executive officer of Htoo Foundation, a non- profit foundation that will cooperate with the Chinese BSR team's rescue activities in Myanmar, said in an interview with Xinhua that the team's arrival reflects the friendship between the two countries' people.

The participation of the Chinese team in the rescue operation was made possible with the help of the Chinese Embassy in Yangon and the China-Myanmar Friendship Association.

The two Myanmar mountaineers, who are expedition leader Aung Myint Myat and manager Wai Yan Min Shu, were reported missing on Mount Hkaka Borazi in Myanmar's Kachin state along China-Myanmar border and have lost contact with the rest of their team since Aug. 31.

A total of eight Myanmar climbers of the expedition team Thabawa Khawthan (Nature's Call) Foundation under the Universities Hiking and Mountaineering Club (UHMC), set out for an ascent trip on July 31. The two went missing on their descent trip after they were able to reach the summit of Mount Hkaka Borazi at about 4:20 pm (local time) on Aug. 31 and planted the Myanmar flag at the summit.

The remaining six descended to the base camp in Ta-phun-tan village at 8 pm on Sept. 9.

Mount Hkaka Borazi is located in the eastern Himalayas in Kachin state at the point where the country connects both India and China. A geological survey carried out in 1925 measured the mountain at 5,881 meters, also known as the highest in the country and all of South East Asia.

Earlier, U Tay Za, patron of Myanmar's Htoo Foundation, dispatched a rescue team to the scene on Sept. 10 to begin the search operation.

Myanmar private airline, Air Bagan, also provided assistance in transporting first aid material to the scene.

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