Bodies of Mt Gurja snowstorm victims airlifted to TUTH from Dhaulagiri

Kathmandu, October 14

The bodies of members of an expedition team killed in a violent snowstorm at Mount Gurja  (7,193 metres) base camp at Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality have been airlifted to Kathmandu, officials said.

“Two choppers carrying technicians, mountain guides and rescue specialists flew to the incident site to retrieve bodies scattered at an altitude of 3800 metres,” an official said.

Body of local Netra Bahadur Chhantyal, 29, was handed over to his kin upon retrieval while bodies of other eight victims, including five Korean nationals, were airlifted to Kathmandu after completion of necessary legal procedures at Gurja village.

“The bodies were brought to Pokhara Airport and flown to Tribhuvan Univeristy Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, by helicopters,” said the official.

A heavy snowstorm followed by landslide buried the base camp at 3,500m when the climbers were awaiting fair weather to head towards the high camp on October 10.

Wangchu Sherpa, managing director at Trekking Camp Nepal, said five Korean climbers — of Koreanway Gurja Himal Expedition 2018 — including team leader Kim Chang-ho, along with their support staff, were killed in the incident. Other deceased Korean climbers have been identified as Lee Jaehun, Rim Il-jin, Yoo Youngjik and Jeong Joon-mo.

Likewise, deceased Nepali climbers have been identified as Chhiring Bhote of Hatiya-2, Dena Angjuk Bhote of Hatiya-6, Phurpu Bhote of Hatiya-6 of Shankhuwasabha district, and Natra Bhadur Chantel of Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality-1 in Myagdi district.