9 climbers dead on Nepal peak

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Nine members of a South Korean climbing expedition had been confirmed dead on Saturday.

Reportedly, a violent snowstorm devastated their camp on Nepal’s Mount Gurja.

The bodies of eight climbers – four South Koreans and four Nepali guides – were spotted by a rescue team early Saturday morning, but strong winds and icy conditions were hampering the search operation.

“A mountain expedition of five South Korean nationals and four foreigners were swept off by strong winds at the base camp during their climb to Mount Gurja. They fell off a cliff and died,” the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

Helicopter pilot Siddartha Gurung was among the first people to reach the site after the deadly storm and described a scene of total destruction with the tents flattened and the climber’s bodies scattered across the area.

Gurung landed a helicopter just above the expedition team’s camp, but icy and unstable conditions meant they were unable to retrieve any of the bodies.

Nepal’s tourism department said a second helicopter was being sent to the site Saturday afternoon.

 

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