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article imageTwelve sherpas killed on Mount Everest avalanche, 3 more missing

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 18, 2014 in World
A tourism ministry official in Nepal, Krishna Lamsal, reports an avalanche early Friday morning on Mount Everest has killed at least 12 Nepalese guides. Another 3 guides, also called 'sherpas', are missing and believed to have died in the avalanche.
They have recovered 12 bodies, the official said, and rescue personal are in the process of looking for the 3 missing, also believed to be buried in the snow. Eight other sherpas were taken alive off of the mountain but 5 of those men are in critical condition so the number of fatalities could rise.
They were on the mountain slopes above 'Camp 2' in order to fix ropes for the ascent up to the 29,035-foot summit of hundreds of climbers and guides; their ascent is scheduled to resume next month. The slide happened at 21,000 feet.
The Washington Post described the area the slide occurred in, nicknamed the 'popcorn filed' as "...one of the most dangerous on Everest, with the glacier moving so rapidly that it opens up crevasses with little or no warning. Towers of ice can collapse suddenly in chunks as large as houses."
The avalanche brings to mind the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest when a blizzard on the mountain lead to the death of 8 climbers. That tragedy was immortalized in a best-selling non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer, who was a part of the expedition.
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