KATHMANDU, Nepal – Rescuers on Sunday retrieved the bodies of three Indian climbers who died on Mount Everest.
One of the climbers, Ravi Kumar, died last weekend, while the other two — Paresh Chandra Nath and Gautam Ghosh — died last year but the bodies had not been removed.
It took Sherpa guides several days to bring down the bodies from near the summit to a lower camp from where they were picked up by a rescue helicopter on Sunday.
The bodies are being kept at Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, where doctors will perform autopsies.
Family members of one of the climbers said they were relieved that the body was recovered, providing closure.
"I can finally take my brother's body home for cremation to bring peace to all our family," said Debashish Ghosh, Gautam Ghosh's brother, who flew in from the Indian city of Kolkata.
The retrieval operation was paid for by the government of India's West Bengal state, which sent three officials to manage the recovery.
Six climbers have been killed and hundreds have scaled Mount Everest this year.
Everest's popular spring mountaineering season runs through the end of May, after which the weather conditions will deteriorate, making it impossible to climb the world's highest peak.