Snow­storm in Nepal kills 9 climbers

New Straits Times - - WORLD -

KATHMANDU: Nine mem­bers of a South Korean climb­ing ex­pe­di­tion were killed af­ter a vi­o­lent snow­storm swept them off a cliff on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, one of the dead­li­est moun­taineer­ing ac­ci­dents to hit the Hi­malayan na­tion in re­cent years.

The bod­ies of eight climbers — four South Kore­ans and four Nepali guides — were spot­ted near the wreck­age of their camp by a res­cue team yes­ter­day morn­ing, but strong winds were ham­per­ing the search ef­fort.

A fifth South Korean climber was ini­tially re­ported miss­ing, but of­fi­cials have now con­firmed that he was at the camp when the deadly storm hit Fri­day and is be­lieved to have also per­ished.

He­li­copter pi­lot Sid­dartha Gu­rung was among the first peo­ple to reach the site and de­scribed a scene of to­tal de­struc­tion.

“Ev­ery­thing is gone, all the tents are blown apart.”

Sid­dartha landed a he­li­copter just above the ex­pe­di­tion team’s camp and at­tempted to de­scend to the camp­site with a group of vil­lagers, but icy and un­sta­ble con­di­tions meant they were un­able to re­trieve any of the bod­ies.

Res­cue of­fi­cials tried to send a sec­ond he­li­copter to the site yes­ter­day but it was un­able to fly due to strong winds.

An­other at­tempt will be made to­day, say po­lice.

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