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>>

  • Winning numbers drawn for $700M Powerball

    Winning numbers drawn for $700M Powerball

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:17 PM EDT2017-08-24 03:17:28 GMT

    The numbers have been drawn for the second largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The winning numbers are 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and the Powerball number is 4. Before Wednesday night's drawing the jackpot was estimated at $700 million.

    More >>

    The numbers have been drawn for the second largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The winning numbers are 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and the Powerball number is 4. Before Wednesday night's drawing the jackpot was estimated at $700 million.

    More >>
  • Indiana man charged with abusing 14-year-old Montana girl

    Indiana man charged with abusing 14-year-old Montana girl

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 10:51 PM EDT2017-08-24 02:51:02 GMT

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A 29-year-old Indiana man who started a crowdfunding site to raise money so he could travel to Montana to be with his 14-year-old "fiancée" is charged with felony sexual abuse of children. William Eugene White Jr. of Montezuma, Indiana, was arrested Monday after reportedly spending the night with the girl at a Missoula homeless shelter.

    More >>

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A 29-year-old Indiana man who started a crowdfunding site to raise money so he could travel to Montana to be with his 14-year-old "fiancée" is charged with felony sexual abuse of children. William Eugene White Jr. of Montezuma, Indiana, was arrested Monday after reportedly spending the night with the girl at a Missoula homeless shelter.

    More >>
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica travels to Spokane Valley

    Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica travels to Spokane Valley

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 10:24 PM EDT2017-08-24 02:24:45 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. has made its way to Spokane Valley. The 250-foot “Wall that Heals” will be at Mirabeau Point Park from Thursday at 10 a.m. until Sunday at 4 p.m. The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday at 9 a.m. The replica, along with a mobile Education Center will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public.

    More >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. has made its way to Spokane Valley. The 250-foot “Wall that Heals” will be at Mirabeau Point Park from Thursday at 10 a.m. until Sunday at 4 p.m. The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday at 9 a.m. The replica, along with a mobile Education Center will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public.

    More >>