Everest toll reaches 13; three still missing

The death toll in the deadliest avalanche on Mt Everest today reached 13 with rescuers recovering one more body of a mountaineering guide from the incident site this afternoon. Officials said the chance of finding three more, who have gone missing in the debris, alive, was almost nil as search continued in the Khumbu icefall area which was hit by an avalanche at 5,900 metres yesterday morning.Rescuers had recovered twelve bodies yesterday. According to Madhusudan Burlakoti, spokesperson at Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dorjee Khatri’s body was dug out and search for the missing is under way. “Pemba Tenji Sherpa, Aash Bahadur Gurung and Tenzing Chhotar Sherpa are still missing.” Six bodies of the deceased were airlifted to Kathmandu and handed over to their kin after post-mortem. Relatives received seven more bodies from Lukla area, Burlakoti said, adding that the four who were injured are undergoing treatment in hospitals in Kathmandu and are out of danger.Under-secretary at the ministry Krishna Lamsal told this daily from Everest Base Camp area that six icefall doctors and nearly 40 support staff of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee have headed to the avalanche site to refix the ladders and ropes damaged by the avalanche. “It’s uncertain how much time it will take to refix the ladders and ropes on the route,” he said, adding it might affect the summit schedule of climbers. According entrepreneurs, some foreigners are reconsidering their bid, owing to the death of their guide.

Helicopters of the Nepali Army and private companies are on standby to support the search and rescue mission. American Alpine Club said it has set up a fund to support the families of the deceased.

Source: The Himalayan Times
Date: 20 April, 2014

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