Mt Gurja snowstorm tragedy: Eight bodies airlifted to Kathmandu

- Post Report, Myagdi

Oct 14, 2018-

Bodies of eight people, who died in a snowstorm at Mt Gurja base camp in Myagdi district on Saturday, have been airlifted to Kathmandu on Sunday. The bodies of all missing nine people were retrieved from the ravine earlier in the day.

A team of security personnel and high-altitude rescue workers who landed at the base camp via a helicopter recovered the nine bodies from the ravine.

Nine climbers—five South Koreans and four Nepalis—died at the Mt Gurja based camp in Myagdi district when a violent snowstorm devastated their camp.

Eight bodies were airlifted to Kathmandu, while the body of Netra Bahadur Chhantyal, 29, from Gurja of Dhawalagiri rural municipality-1, has been sent to his home after postmortem at Myagdi district hospital. His last rites will be performed on Monday, his relatives said.

The Myagdi District Police Office identified the deceased Koreans as Jaehun Lee, Chang Ho Kin, Jin Rim, Youngjik Yoo, and Joon Mo Jeong. The Nepali victims are known to be Tsering Bhote, Lakpa Sangbu Bhote, Phurba Sherpa and Netra Chhantyal.

Though there are no exact details of when the disaster struck but officials assumed the snowstorm might have occurred on Thursday night. Nepali climbing guide Lakma Sherpa, who was assisting another Korean climber, said they were forced to return after the 77-year-old climber fell ill three hours before reaching the base camp on Thursday. A team of locals, who reached the site after a day-long walk, couldn't retrieve the bodies due to bad weather and difficult geographical terrain and had to return, said Sama Prasad Chhantyal, who lost his close relative in the disaster.

A helicopter rescue team spotted all the bodies amid the wreckage of the camp on Saturday morning but strong winds hampered the effort to retrieve the bodies. The expedition that acquired a 60-day route permit from the Department of Tourism had planned to scale the mountain from its southern face, RSS reported. 

Published: 14-10-2018 13:50

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