KATHMANDU, April 26
At least 200 climbers and support staff are in a need of emergency rescue from the higher camps on Mount Everest as they have been stranded above the treacherous icefall following yesterday’s avalanche that killed more than 19 persons and left over 70 injured when the country was badly shaken by a devastating earthquake.
According to Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism, situation above the Everest base camp turned more serious as many climbers got trapped in Camps 1 and 2 after an avalanche swept a newly constructed icefall route. “They have lack food, shelter and oxygen after the deadliest avalanche,” Iswari Poudel, Managing Director at the Himalayan Guides Treks and Expeditions said.
According to him, at least nine fatal casualties - eight Sherpas and an American doctor, Morisa Girawong – were reported from three expeditions managed by his company. “More than 120, including 32 from Himalayan Guides alone have been stranded in Camp 2 while some 80 climbers and high altitude workers have been waiting for emergency rescue at Camp 1,” Poudel told this daily, referring to his latest but rare conversation with the climbers at high camps.
Officials confirmed that more than 70 injured mountaineers were airlifted from base camp today as six chopper flights ferried them to Kathmandu for treatment. DoT officials said the rescue operation above the higher camps would be conducted immediately after completing rescue of the injured. Dr Ritesh Goel, Indian Army major, informed this daily from the base camp that base camp was severely damaged with estimated 19 fatal casualties from expedition teams because of massive avalanches from Mt Pumori.
“The team of doctors from Himalayan Rescue Association under extreme conditions carried out triage, management and evacuation of more than 70 casualties from the base camp. Medical management of more than eight severe head injuries for a duration of 14 hours on the night of April 25 done by myself and Dr Elenn from USA. The Indian Army camp, International Mountain Guides and Asian Adventures also provided aid to other expedition teams with food and shelter.
The Indian Army team will be the last to move out from the base camp after all successful evacuations,” Dr Goel shared in a text message this evening.
The deceased in the base camp include climbers and support staff belonging to the Dreamers Destination Treks and Expedition, Beyul Adventures, Arun Treks, Jagged Globe and Himalayan Guides among others. Jagged Globe in a statement confirmed that Daniel Fredinburg, a Google Executive who made the headlines after dating Hollywood Actress Sophia Bush, was killed in avalanche on Everest.
According to sources, an Australian climber of Indian origin,
Chinese and American mountaineers are among the dead. Of eight liaison officers who reached in base camp, four are still out of contact, sources added.