India reports problems in retrieving climbers' bodies

An Indian state official says the air retrieval of the bodies of five foreign climbers spotted on a Himalayan mountain isn't immediately possible because helicopters are having difficulty operating due to strong turbulence.

Magistrate Vijay Jogdande says the Indian Mountaineering Foundation could launch a ground expedition to help evacuate the bodies spotted at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) in Uttarakhand state.

He was responding to a statement by the foundation Saturday that it was ready to launch an expedition.

Veteran British mountaineer Martin Moran led the team of four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian. The climbers set out May 13, but contact at base camp was lost May 26 following an avalanche. Five bodies have been spotted, but all eight climbers are feared dead.