On 26 June five porters drowned in the River Braldo while transporting loads to Base Camp for the Italian K2-2004 expedition.
News has reached us from an immensely crowded Baltoro that we would have preferred not to have received. On Saturday 26 June five Pakistani porters drowned in the River Braldo.
According to reports received, the tragic accident happened as follows: on the first trekking day six porters carrying loads to Base Camp for the Italian "K2-2004" expedition attempted to wade across River Braldo, beneath Jhula and the bridge. The bridge is normally used to cross the river, eventhough it forces porters to walk considerably further.
The six porters attempted to wade through the river holding on to each other and creating a "human chain", but were swept away by the strong current. One was miracoulously saved by another porter, but Sher Muhammad, Nazir, Jaffar, Hassan and Noor drowned. This is definitely one of the greatest tragedies in the Baltoro region of late.
The rescued porter was given medical assistance at Paju by the organisation "Nodo Infinito" and "Star Mountain" who had erected an interim camp between Askole and K2 Base Camp for trekkers in need of assistance. At the time of the tragedy, all members of the "K2-2004" expedition had already reached K2 base Camp.
This is truly an emotional tragedy for everyone involved in the expedition declared Agostino da Polenza, leader of the K2-2004 project The Balti porters are our expedition companions. We acknowledge the daily difficulties they incur to do their jobs so well. There is still a long way to go to make their job safer.
A weak ridge is situated over Afghanistan. It may at times affect the K2-area during the first days giving only risk of occasional showers. Then it seems to become more unsettled with frequent showers due to lows over Kashmir and Tibet.