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Nepal storm kills at least seven climbers on Himalayan mountain, police say

Nepal storm kills at least seven climbers on Himalayan mountain, police say

Nine members of a South Korean climbing expedition were killed after a violent snowstorm swept them off a cliff on Nepal's Mount Gurja, one of the deadliest mountaineering accidents to hit the Himalayan nation in recent years. The body of one of the Nepalese guides was flown to his village. A police team was heading toward the base camp on foot and will likely reach there on Sunday, Budamagar said.

Trekking Camp Nepal managing director Wangchu Sherpa, who organised the Mount Gurja expedition, said the alarm was raised after the South Korean team was not heard from for almost 24 hours. The other South Korean climbers who died have been identified as Lee Jaehun, Rim Il-jin, Yoo Youngjik, and Jeong Joon-mo.

Niraula said officials were still gathering details of what exactly happened but from what rescuers described, the climbers were blown over by the blast of the blizzard-like wind conditions.

Four Nepalese sherpas were also killed.

Kim Chang-ho, from South Korea, who is the fastest person to reach the summits of the world's 14 highest mountains without additional oxygen, is believed by local media to be among the dead.




A storm destroyed their camp and rescue helicopters sent early Saturday were unable to land because of bad weather conditions on the mountain, police official Bir Bahadur Budamagar said. Since then, only 30 climbers have made it to the summit. Compare that to Mt. Everest, which more than 4,800 climbers have summited - many of them sherpa who have achieved the feat a couple of times.

"Base camp looks like a bomb went off", added Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a US-based emergency assistance group assisting in the retrieval effort. The deceased include five South Koreans.

The climbers were on an expedition to make a new trekking route when their camp on Mount Gurja was swept away by a strong storm.

Thousands of climbers flock to Nepal each year - home to eight of the world's 14 highest peaks - creating a lucrative mountain tourism industry that is a vital source of cash for the impoverished country.

The highest peak in the range is the Dhaulagiri I, the seventh highest mountain in the world at 26,795 feet above sea level.

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