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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

12 Sherpas die in deadly Mt Everest avalanche


Kathmandu: In one of the most distressing tragedies en route to Mount Everest, 12 Nepalese Sherpa guides were killed while four were missing after an avalanche swept down on them on Friday. Officials said the Sherpas had gone up to fix ropes and were carrying tents and food ahead of the main climbing season starting later this month when they came under the heavy snowslide. 
    The death toll is expected to rise as several bodies are yet to be retrieved from under the snow because of inclement weather. 
    The avalanche hit an area called Popcorn Field below Camp 2 at an elevation of around 6,400m on the 8,848m -tall peak. The area has boulders of ice on the way leading to the treacherous Khumbu icefall. A news agency quoted an injured survivor as telling his relatives that the path up the mountain was unstable just before the avalanche. 
    The survivor was among four injured who were airlifted to a hospital in Kathmandu. Climbers with less serious injuries were treated at the base camp. Rescuers reportedly plucked survivors from under mounds of snow. 
Everest toll may rise as search resumes today 
Kathmandu: The death toll in the Everest avalanche tragedy is expected to rise as several bodies are yet to be retrieved from under the snow. Search operations for four missing guides had to be called off on Friday as the weather worsened. 
    Four survivors were airlifted to a hospital here, while others were treated at the base camp. "The search will continue on Saturday morn
ing," said mountaineering official Dipendra Poudel. Eyewitnesses, he said, had reported more bodies. 
    Hundreds of climbers, guides and support crews are currently at the Everest base camp preparing to summit when weather conditions improve early next month. Eight climbers had died in the last major disaster on way to Everest on May 11, 1996. 

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