Thai Rescue Helicopter Missing in Burma

By The Associated Press 29 September 2014

RANGOON — A rescue helicopter from Thailand has lost contact with ground control during a search for two climbers who scaled Southeast Asia’s highest peak a month ago, officials said Sunday.

The helicopter was carrying three people, including a Thai pilot.

According to Htoo Foundation, the chopper left Putao airport in Burma’s northern Kachin State on Saturday to drop food for a team searching for two Burmese climbers missing since Aug. 31. The foundation is leading the search effort for the climbers.

An eight-member team set out to climb the 5,881-meter (19,300-foot) Hkakabo Razi mountain last month, but only two went up the final stretch due to the narrow nature of the summit, reaching the ice-capped mountaintop on Aug. 31.

The men reported before making their descent that their radio battery was weak. They were supposed to reconnect with their colleagues at base camp on Sept. 9, but did not show up.

The search for the climbers involved helicopters from Thailand, the United States and China, as well as other mountaineers.