At least seven climbers killed in Hi­malayas, two miss­ing

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

KATHMANDU: 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.

Po­lice of­fi­cial Bir Ba­hadur Bud­ham­a­gar said vil­lagers who reached the site at the base camp of Mount Gurja, a 7,913 me­tre­high peak (23,600 feet), on Satur­day spot­ted seven bod­ies in the moun­tain slopes. Nine climbers had been re­ported miss­ing.

“The bod­ies have not been iden­ti­fied. Go­ing by the colour of their skin four bod­ies must be of Korean climbers, while two are Nepalis,” Bud­ham­a­gar told Reuters from Myagdi dis­trict where the site is lo­cated.

“It is un­clear whether the sev­enth body found was that of a Korean or Nepali,” Bud­ham­a­gar said. The re­mote area is dif­fi­cult to reach by foot, he said, and lo­cals are still look­ing for two other climbers who are miss­ing af­ter the overnight storm.

Tourism Min­istry of­fi­cial Ramesh­war Ni­raula said res­cue he­li­copter pi­lots also spot­ted the bod­ies but were un­able to land due to bad weather con­di­tions. “Res­cuers will try to re­cover the bod­ies on Sun­day,” Ni­raula said.

Wangchu Sherpa, head of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency that pro­vided lo­cal sup­port to the South Korean team, said the camp had been de­stroyed, cit­ing re­ports from the pi­lot of the res­cue he­li­copter sent to look for the miss­ing group on Satur­day.

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