Kathmandu: A massive avalanche today struck Mount Everest killing at least 13 Nepalese Sherpa guides and injuring several others in one of the most lethal mountaineering accidents in recent history on the world's highest peak.
An official from the mountaineering division at the Nepalese tourism ministry said 13 bodies had so far been recovered and ferried to base camp, while a further three injured climbers were being taken to Kathmandu. As many as seven climbers are still thought to be missing.
“The avalanche hit the Nepalese Sherpa guides and climbers as they were heading towards Camp I from the Base Camp of the Everest,” said Tilak Pandey, an official at Mountaineering Division of Tourism Ministry.
“There were around 15 climbers from six different expeditions including Alpine Ascent and Summit Nepal, when the avalanche swept them away,” he said.
The accident comes during the peak climbing months of April and May as hundreds of climbers converged at base camp in the hope of scaling the 8,848-metre-high summit.
Nearly 100 Sherpa guides and climbers have been trapped above the avalanche site. Ethnic Sherpas acts as guides for the mostly-foreign clients.