Twelve Nepalese guides are dead and three people are missing in an avalanche on Mount Everest, a Nepal tourism official says.
The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix the ropes for hundreds of climbers when the avalanche hit them just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m., said Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal, speaking from the base camp and monitoring the rescue efforts.
Twelve bodies have been recovered and rescuers were digging two more out of the snow. Three more Sherpas are unaccounted for and believed to be buried, he said.
As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers and fellow climbers rushed to help. A helicopter was also sent from Kathmandu.
More than 4,000 people have scaled Mount Everest since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Hundreds of others have died in the attempt, while many have succeeded only with help from oxygen tanks, equipment porters and Sherpa guides.
The official altitude of Mount Everest, the world\’s highest peak, is 29,029 feet (8,848m).
Source: TOE and agencies