At Least 13 Sherpas Dead As Avalanche Sweeps Mount Everest - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

At Least 13 Sherpas Dead As Avalanche Sweeps Mount Everest

Posted: Updated:
KATMANDU, Nepal (NBC) - An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least 13 people in the mountain's deadliest disaster.

NBC News confirmed that all of the dead were Sherpa guides.

The 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. local time, Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal told The Associated Press.

Tilak Ram Pandey, an official at the ministry's mountaineering department, later told Reuters that some other people were thought to be missing.

Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support guides had gathered at the base camp, gearing up for their final attempt to scale the 29,035-foot peak early next month when weather conditions get favorable. They have been setting up their camps at higher altitudes and guides fixing routes and ropes on the slopes ahead of the final ascend to the summit in May.

As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers and fellow climbers rushed to help. A helicopter was also sent.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said that the area where the avalanche occurred is nicknamed the "popcorn field," which is just below Camp 2 at 21,000 feet.

Nepal had earlier announced several steps this year to better manage the flow of climbers, minimize congestion and speed up rescue operations. The preparations included the dispatch of officials and security personnel to the base camp located at 17,380 feet, where they would stay throughout the spring climbing season that ends in May.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Nearly 250 others have died on the mountain.

The worst recorded disaster on Everest was on May 11, 1996, when eight climbers were killed in one day because of a storm near the summit. Six Nepalese guides were killed in an avalanche in 1970.

— Sarah Burke of NBC News, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Speed thought to be a factor in fatal Newman Lake crash

    Speed thought to be a factor in fatal Newman Lake crash

    Thursday, July 27 2017 2:04 AM EDT2017-07-27 06:04:53 GMT

    NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. - Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a fatal crash that happened north of Newman Lake Wednesday afternoon, but they say speed was likely a factor.  Investigators on scene say an SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed heading west on Muzzy Road when the driver missed a curve and slammed into a tree.

    More >>

    NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. - Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a fatal crash that happened north of Newman Lake Wednesday afternoon, but they say speed was likely a factor.  Investigators on scene say an SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed heading west on Muzzy Road when the driver missed a curve and slammed into a tree.

    More >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, July 26th

    Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, July 26th

    Thursday, July 27 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-07-27 06:00:12 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, July 26th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, July 26th.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Ride that broke apart passed inspections

    The Latest: Ride that broke apart passed inspections

    Thursday, July 27 2017 12:41 AM EDT2017-07-27 04:41:00 GMT

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Officials say a ride that broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, killing one man and injuring seven other people Wednesday evening, passed its inspections. Director of Agriculture David Daniels says all of rides are checked several times when they're being set up to ensure they're set up the way the manufacturer intended.

    More >>

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Officials say a ride that broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, killing one man and injuring seven other people Wednesday evening, passed its inspections. Director of Agriculture David Daniels says all of rides are checked several times when they're being set up to ensure they're set up the way the manufacturer intended.

    More >>