Strong winds delay retrieval of climbers' bodies in India

An Indian state official says strong turbulence has made the air retrieval of the bodies of five climbers impossible right now

LUCKNOW, India -- Retrieving the bodies of five climbers of an international team from a notoriously dangerous Himalayan mountain isn't immediately possible because helicopters are having difficulty operating due to strong turbulence, an Indian official said Saturday.

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

He was responding to a statement by the foundation Saturday that it was ready to launch an expedition. The foundation complained that it has been waiting for the permission of state authorities for the past three days.

The foundation said its team of highly experienced mountaineers was standing by to move while it had a window of 15-20 days to complete the operation before monsoon rains arrive.