Nepal today called off the search for three missing Sherpa guides due to heavy snow fall, two days after 13 people died in the deadliest accident on Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.
“Following heavy snow falls in the area the search and rescue operations have been halted as we were unable to locate the place where the climbers might have been buried,” said Tilak Pandey, an official at Tourism Ministry.
“It was not possible to carry out search for a long time in such a high altitude due to heavy snow fall,” he pointed out.
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Thirteen dead bodies have been recovered from the mountain, while 10 guides have been rescued alive since the avalanche swept them away on Friday.
Three seriously injured climbers have been brought to the capital for further treatment.
“It is not possible to rescue the mountain guides alive after three days, though we still say they were missing without recovering the dead bodies,” he said.
The officials have, however, decided to stop the search for remaining three people buried in the snow at an altitude of 5,800 metre in the Everest.
The dead bodies have been brought to Kathmandu and handed over to their kin and the government has decided to provide Rs 40,000 each to the families of the deceased climbers as compensation.
Around 4,000 people have scaled Mt Everest since 1953 when Tenzing Sherpa and Edmund Hillary made it to the summit of the peak.
More than 250 people have died while attempting to climb the 8,848-metre-high summit. This year over 300 climbers have taken permission to climb the Everest.
Ethnic Sherpas act as guides for the mostly-foreign clients.
The worst recorded accident on Everest has been a snowstorm on May 11, 1996, that killed eight climbers. Six Nepalese guides were killed in an avalanche in 1970.