UPDATE IV: Three of the injured Sherpas have been airflifted from the Everest region to Kathmandu for treatment this afternoon.
A Nepal Army helicopter was also used in the rescue operation.
UPDATE III: Everest Avalanche: 12 bodies recovered‚ 8 rescued alive
Altogether 12 bodies have been recovered from the avalanche-hit area till this noon, and one body has been sighted buried in the snow. Eight persons were rescued alive, while five Sherpas are still missing, authorities said.
Nearly 100 Sherpa guides and climbers have been trapped above the avalanche site.
All climbing activities have been stopped for the time being after the disastrous avalanche this morning.
Currently, a Simrik Air chopper is airlifting the bodies and injured.
Five of the Sherpas who were killed in the avalanche were employed by the Shangr-la Shangri-la Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd. The deceased have been identified as residents of Khumbu region.
“Around 25 persons were swept away by the avalanche. We have rescued eight alive, and 12 bodies have been recovered so far,” Dipendra Poudel of the Trekking and Mountaineering Section under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said.
He said rescue mission was underway under the coordination of contact office that the Tourism Ministry started form this season.
Hospital staff get ready to receive the injured from an avalanche, on helipad of Grandy hospital, in the Capital on Friday, April 18, 2014. An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepali guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. Photo: AP
“Liaison officers, personnel of Nepal Army and Armed Police Force as well as guides from Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) and icefall doctors are involved in rescue operations,” he added.
Climbers of as many as six expeditions were swept away by the avalanche.
“These expeditions were operated by expedition operators like Shangri-la Nepal, Alpine Ascent, Summit Nepal, Himalayan Guides and Beuyl, among others,” added Poudel.
Grief-stricken Sherpas from Khumbu region have gathered at the base camp after the news of tragedy spread.
Everest expedition in figure
This year 85 expedition teams have been issued permit to climb different mountains. A total of 334 mountaineers -- 87 from the US alone -- representing 31 teams are headed for Mt Everest.
As of 2013, there were 6,871 ascents — 4,416 from the Nepali side and 2,455 from the Tibetan side — by 4,042 summiteers.
In 2013, 539 summits were recorded from the Nepali side, while the Tibetan side recorded 119 summits.
There were 248 casualties, including 161 of foreigners, according to the Himalayan Database.
UPDATE II: 7 bodies recovered, 5 seen buried in snow
Four of the deceased have been identified. They are Tsering Sherpa, Dorjee Sherpa, Tenzing Sherpa and Mingmar Sherpa of Namche area of Solukhumbu district.
UPDATE I : Everest Avalanche: 7 bodies recovered‚ 5 seen buried in snowSeven bodies have been recovered, while five others are buried in the snow at the area hit by an early morning avalanche in Mt Everest, Jiban Ghimire, Managing Director of the Shangri-la Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd*., told THT Online, referring to members of his trekking agency who are currently in the Everest region.
Some Sherpas, who went to fix ropes and ferry logistics for other climbers, are still unaccounted for after the avalanche, according to him.
Earlier, it was reported that 14 bodies were found from the incident site.
Helicopters have been sent from Kathmandu to the Everest region to assist in the rescue operation.
Eight of the victims have been rescued alive and brought to the base camp for treatment, Ghimire informed.
Avalanche in Mt Everest: "14 killed‚ scores missing"
KATHMANDU: An avalanche hit Khubuche area, near Camp 1, of Mt Everest this morning, killing some mountaineers, most of them Sherpas.
About dozen others are missing in the incident that took place before sunrise at around 5:30 am.
Some of the victims have been rescued and brought down to the base camp, and rescue operation is underway.
The avalanche came sweeping from the Khubuche Icefall and hammered over at tents of Sherpas, who were heading to Camp I to ferry logistics and fix ropes for the climbers of different expedition teams.
The site is at an elevation of 5,800 metre, in between the base camp and Camp I.
A Nepali Sherpa Dawa Tashi, who was injured during an avalanche gets treatment at a hospital in the Capital on Friday, April 18, 2014. Photo: AP
According to Jiban Ghimire, Managing Director of the Shangri-la Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd., 14 bodies were found.
He said 10 of the victims were from his trekking agency.
At least five persons have been rescued alive and are brought to the base camp where they are receiving primary treatment, said Lakpa Sherpa, a local medical staff.
Helicopters will be sent to the incident site from Kathmandu to help the rescue operation shortly, according to Ang Tsering Sherpa of Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Krishna Lamsal, Under Secretary of Tourism Ministry, said 15 persons caught in the avalanche belong to the Alpine Expedition.
Camps being set up for the spring summit at Everest base camp earlier this month. Photo Courtesy: Ang Jangbu Sherpa / IMG
Most of the climbers were at the base camp for acclimatisation.
Nearly 800 persons have arrived in the upper Khumbu and base camp area for acclimatisation before climbling the world's highest mountain, Lamsal informed.
More than 600 support staff, most of them are Nepali Sherpas, are assisting over 300 foreign climbers who have been permitted to summit Mt everest in this spring.
(* Correction: This version corrects the name of the trekking agency. It is Shangri-la Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd., and not Peace Nepal Treks. We apologise for the mistake made earlier.)
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