Hyderabad, March 30: Malli Mastan Babu, an accomplished mountaineer from Andhra Pradesh, has gone missing while on an expedition in Chile.
40-year-old Babu, a native of Nellore district, had gone to Chile about 10 days ago for an expedition to climb the 21,748 feet-high Cerro Tres Cruces Sur on the Chilean side of the Andes range.
An alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Calcutta, Babu holds a record for being the fastest 'seven summit' climbers from India. Babu has climbed summits in all seven continents within 172 days.
In 2006, Babu got his name registered in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest "7 summiter".
He was leading a team of mountaineers, said Pothuraju, deputy superintendent of police, Nellore district.
On Tuesday, March 24, Babu was said to be ahead of others, and went missing as the weather turned bad due to heavy snowfall a few days ago, he said.
Babu's family in touch with MEA
Babu's family members had got in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs, and efforts were on trace him, the DSP added.
His mother Mastanamma, who lives in Nellore district, expressed anguish over her son's fate and told reporters that the Indian government should make efforts to trace him.
Babu's friends have also launched a fund-raising campaign for his search.
Babu was scheduled to return to India on March 28. Babu worked as a software engineer for 3 years before turning into an ace mountaineer.
Indian missions in Argentina, Chile coordinating to trace Babu
"Our Missions in Argentina and Chile are coordinating with the governments on this humanitarian issue and will provide all help," the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.
The spokesperson also noted that the local authorities have deployed aircraft to trace Babu.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was quoted saying as, "We have been told that the route that Mastan took was hit by heavy rains after he left."
Chile Govt approves aerial search for Babu
According to a report, the Chile government has approved aerial search operations to locate and bring back India's fastest mountaineer Mastan Babu Malli who went missing last Wednesday while climbing the mountains between Chile and Argentina.
To report the latest updates about whereabouts of Babu, his admirers have created a Facebook page.