Nine climbers feared dead in Himalayas

Pauline Gross
October 14, 2018

At least seven mountaineers were killed after their camp on a Himalayan peak in western Nepal was hit by a storm, police said on Saturday, in the country's worst climbing disaster in two years.

Wangchu Sherpa, managing director of Trekking Camp Nepal, who organised the expedition, said they raised the alarm after they had not heard from the South Korean team for almost 24 hours.

Villagers who reached base camp Saturday afternoon found the bodies of four South Korean climbers, two Nepalese guides and another person yet to be identified, while the search was continuing for two more, police official Bir Bahadur Budamagar said, according to AP.

A rescue helicopter sent to the site was unable to land because of poor visibility but the pilot was able to see the area had been devastated.

The climbers were attempting to scale the 7,193-metre (23,590-ft) peak during the autumn climbing season. "(They) fell off a cliff and died", the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

Police officials say the remote area is hard to reach by foot and locals are still looking for the remaining climber yet to be recovered.

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He added: 'Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart'.

The permit listed four South Korean climbers, but a fifth member had joined the team later, according to Suresh Dakal of Trekking Camp Nepal.

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal's Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

The climbers had been waiting for the bad weather to clear so they could begin their climb on the unsafe Himalayan peak.

Mount Gurja, which is not among the popular mountains in Nepal, lies near the 8,167-metre Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh highest peak.

A sixth South Korean national was staying in a village in the valley below the mountain when the powerful storm struck and survived, according to a local police report.

Other reports by GizPress

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