Published: Sat, October 13, 2018

7 killed, 2 missing after storm sweeps Nepal mountain

7 killed, 2 missing after storm sweeps Nepal mountain

A group of five South Korean climbers and four Nepali climbers and porters has been reported missing after a storm hit a camp on a Himalayan peak in west Nepal, officials said on Saturday.

The climbers were attempting to scale the 7,193-metre (23,590-foot) peak during the autumn climbing season.

A police team heading toward the base camp on foot is unlikely to reach the site until Sunday.

"Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart".

Feted South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who in 2013 became the fastest person to summit the world's 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen, was leading the expedition, according to a government-issued climbing permit seen by AFP. "The conditions were too icy to continue the search", pilot Siddartha Gurung told AFP.

Wangchu Sherpa, of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency, which provided support to the climbers, said: "Our rescue operation is continuing and we are trying to find details". A heavy snowstorm followed by a landslide buried the base camp at an altitude of 3,500 metres when the climbers were awaiting for a fair weather to move towards higher camps, he said.

"The camp was completely destroyed", the BBC heard from Myagdi district official Liladhar Adhikari.

Mount Gurja, also called Gurja Himal, while not famous as one of Nepal's most challenging peaks, is part of the Dhaulagiri range, which is topped by Dhaulagiri I, the seventh-highest mountain in the world.

According to the Himalayan Database, no-one has stood on Gurja's summit since 1996.

The climbers had been waiting for a window of good weather so they could reach the summit, when the storm hit Friday.

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