A helicopter carrying elite paramilitary mountaineers took off Wednesday for a "very high-risk" operation to retrieve five dead climbers and three others believed killed scaling a treacherous Himalayan peak.

  • believed to be killed during scaling
    – yunzen
    Jun 5, 2019 at 9:12
  • Using three consecutive verb forms in this context is stylistically clunky. Avoid it. Jun 5, 2019 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


= (who were) believed (to be) killed (while they were) scaling [that peak]

The first two items are past participles used for passive voice (with some words omitted), the third one can be interpreted as an element of Past Continuous tense with 'while they were' omitted or simply as a gerund in the adverbial clause 'at/while scaling' with 'at/while' omitted.

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