Hope fades for missing Korean, Nepali trekkers
Pokhara, Nepal - Rescuers in the search for four South Korean trekkers and three Nepalis said on Tuesday there was little hope of finding them alive after they were swept away and buried by an avalanche in the Himalayas.
The group was descending near Annapurna base camp around 3,230m above sea level when the avalanche struck on Friday after heavy snowfall.
“It has been so many days, so it is hard to be hopeful for survival. With our equipment we found signals on the area when the avalanche landed, confirming that there are bodies buried inside,” rescue worker Ang Tashi Sherpa told AFP.
Experts say there is a very low chance of survival for those buried in an avalanche for more than two hours.
Rescuers have marked the position where signals from electronic detection devices have been recorded. Local official Him Bahadur Gurung said nearly 4.5m of fresh snow had accumulated in the area.
On Tuesday morning, an 11member specialised team from the Nepal Army departed by chopper for the site along with South Korean personnel.
“Our focus is to find them. The teams will try to expedite melting of the snow or dig through,” said Dan Bahadur Karki, police chief of Kaski district. “It is still a risky operation but all possible efforts are being made.”
On Tuesday, eight Indian tourists, including four children, have died after they were found unconscious in their room at a hill resort in Nepal, police said. The eight - two couples and their children - had slept in one room at a hotel in Daman, a popular tourist destination in Makwanpur district about 55km from Kathmandu.
The teams will try to expedite melting of the snow or dig through
Dan Bahadur Karki
South Korean Ambassador Park Young-Sik (centre) attends a press conference in Pokhara, 200km west of Kathmandu on Tuesday