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Search resumes for missing Everest climbers

19 April 2014, 07:32

Kathmandu - The search for four climbing guides missing on Mount Everest resumed on Saturday following the deaths of 12 others, authorities said.

"The weather has been favourable so far," said Dipendra Poudel, secretary of the Mountain Section of Tourism Ministry.

"But we have no hopes of finding anyone alive, and the death toll is likely to rise.

"Twelve Nepali climbing guides were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest on Friday.

Seven bodies were airlifted off the mountain and handed over to their relatives in the Everest region on Friday and five others were to be handed over on Saturday.

A team of 50, comprising security personnel, climbers, doctors and government officials, were helping with the search.

Seven people survived the avalanche that hit as the climbers were ascending from the base camp to camp one.

Before the climbing season beings in May, the guides go ahead to set up tents and lay up food and other equipment for climbers.

The guides were employees from five different trekking companies. One of the survivors, Dawa Sherpa, told the local media that the avalanche had hit suddenly when they were queuing up to cross a difficult trail at Khumbu icefall.

"There was no space for us to run or escape. So we huddled together, holding one another tight. But within a very short time, we were all buried."

Concerns have been high recently over the number of tourists on the mountains, in particular after the government this year slashed mountaineering fees.

In 1996, eight climbers were killed on Everest in a snowstorm.

More than 4 000 people have summitted the mountain since the first ascent in 1953 and 400 have died trying.



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