Nepal | January 22, 2019

Bodies of Gurja snowstorm victims airlifted to Kathmandu

THT Online

A Simrik Air chopper pictured at the incident site. Photo: Simrik Air

KATHMANDU: The bodies of deceased 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 Simrik Air choppers carrying technicians, mountain guides and rescue specialists flew to the incident site to retrieve bodies scattered at an altitude of 3,800 metres,” the airlines reported.

Body of local Netra Bahadur Chhantyal (29) was handed over to his kin upon retrieval while bodies of eight other victims including five Korean nationals have been airlifted to Kathmandu following legal proceedings at Gurja village.

“After completion of administrative tasks such as the police report and other related thorough investigations, the bodies were brought to Pokhara Airport and flown to Kathmandu TU Teaching Hospital by Simrik Air Helicopter,” the airlines wrote on Facebook.

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

Wangchu Sherpa, Managing Director at Trekking Camp Nepal said that 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 of the expedition 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 all in Shankhuwasabha district, and Natra Bahadur Chantel of Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality-1 in Myagdi district.

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