Twelve people have been killed and three people are missing following an avalanche that occurred on Mount Everest. A group of about 50 people, mostly Nepali Sherpas, were caught in the avalanche that struck around 06:45 local time (01:00 GMT) in an area known as the “popcorn field”, just above Everest base camp at 5,800m (19,000ft), according to the mountaineering department of the Tourism Ministry.
An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak.
The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche hit just them below Camp 2 at about 6:30 a.m., Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal said from the base camp where he is monitoring rescue efforts.
Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies from under mounds of snow and ice and were searching for the three missing guides, Lamsal said.
I am safely back at Base Camp.
I was climbing through the icefall this morning at about 6am when a very large avalanche struck a couple of hundred meters above us. I was with my incredible Sherpa, Phu Tsering. We watched the enormous avalanche cloud approach us and we were both covered in snow dust. After some initial concern, we knew we were safe and essentially out of harms way. Phu Tsering chanted some Buddhist prayers and made an offering to the mountain. The avalanche cloud covered us, but fortunately we were a couple of hundred meters under the impact zone.
There were many climbers and Sherpas above us, higher in the icefall, and an unknown number of them (reportedly all Sherpas) have been killed and injured. The rescue is underway and many Sherpas and westerners were rushing up the mountain to assist in the rescue as I was descending.
I am extremely grateful to be back at base camp and feel deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of life today.
My prayers are with all touched by this tragedy.