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Death toll from Everest avalanche climbs to at least 13 after one body found

Published on Apr 19, 2014 8:42 PM
 
Nepalese relatives and volunteers shift the body of a Mount Everest avalanche victim after arrival at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu, on April 19, 2014. Rescuers recovered the body of one mountain guide on Saturday after an ice avalanche swept the lower slopes of Mount Everest, bringing the death toll to at least 13 in the deadliest accident on the world's highest mountain. -- PHOTO: AFP

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Rescuers recovered the body of one mountain guide on Saturday after an ice avalanche swept the lower slopes of Mount Everest, bringing the death toll to at least 13 in the deadliest accident on the world's highest mountain.

The avalanche struck a perilous passage called the Khumbu Icefall, which is riddled with crevasses and piled with serac - or huge chunks of ice - that can break free without warning. "We were tied on a rope and carrying gas to camp when there was a sudden hrrrr sound," said Mr Ang Kami Sherpa, 25, one of at least three survivors flown by helicopter to Kathmandu.

"We knew it was an avalanche but we couldn't run away or do anything. There was a big chunk of snow that fell over us and swept us away. It looked like clouds, all white," he said in a hospital intensive care unit where he was being treated for a blood clot on his leg and facial injuries.

Climbers declared a four-day halt to efforts to scale the 8,848m summit and, while some decided to abandon their mission, others said they would go ahead after talking to their guides. All of the victims were sherpa mountain guides. "Everyone is shaken here at Base Camp. Some climbers are packing up and calling it quits, they want nothing to do with this," Mr Tim Rippel of Peak Freaks Expeditions wrote in a blog.

 
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