Bodies of Nepal climbers retrieved

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 15 Oct 2018

The bodies of nine climbers killed on Nepal's Mount Gurja were retrieved from the mountainside yesterday as rescuers tried to piece together what led to the freak accident.

Rescuers found the bodies of the South Korean climbing expedition scattered across the base camp amid the broken remains of their tents and equipment.

The team had injuries, including head wounds and broken bones, consistent with being hit by powerful winds, but rescuers say they were most likely caused by the powerful downblast from an avalanche not a storm.

"It seems that seracs [glacial ice] and snow fell from high on the mountain and the strong gusts of winds from that hit the campsite, throwing the climbers off," said rescuer Suraj Paudyal who reached the site yesterday.

The remote camp at around 3,500 meters was located next to a gully that acted as a funnel for the mass of snow, ice and rocks brought down by the avalanche creating a powerful kickback of wind that decimated the team.

It took a helicopter several trips to bring the bodies - five South Koreans and four Nepalis - down from the camp in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal's Annapurna region.

"Base camp looks like a bomb went off," said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a US-based emergency assistance group .

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