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Mount Everest avalanche: "We saw bodies brought down"

Altogether 12 bodies have been recovered from the avalanche-hit area till this noon, and one body has been sighted buried in the snow. Eight persons were rescued alive, while five Sherpas are still missing, authorities said.Nearly 100 Sherpa guides and climbers have been trapped above the avalanche site. All climbing activities have been stopped for the time being after the disastrous avalanche this morning.

Currently, a Simrik Air chopper is airlifting the bodies and injured.Five of the Sherpas who were killed in the avalanche were employed by the Shangr-la Shangri-la Nepal Trek Pvt. Ltd. The deceased have been identified as residents of Khumbu region. “Around 25 persons were swept away by the avalanche. We have rescued eight alive, and 12 bodies have been recovered so far,” Dipendra Poudel of the Trekking and Mountaineering Section under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said.He said rescue mission was underway under the coordination of contact office that the Tourism Ministry started form this season.

“Liaison officers, personnel of Nepal Army and Armed Police Force as well as guides from Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) and icefall doctors are involved in rescue operations,” he added.Climbers of as many as six expeditions were swept away by the avalanche. “These expeditions were operated by expedition operators like Shangri-la Nepal, Alpine Ascent, Summit Nepal, Himalayan Guides and Beuyl, among others,” added Poudel.Grief-stricken Sherpas from Khumbu region have gathered at the base camp after the news of tragedy spread. Everest expedition in figure This year 85 expedition teams have been issued permit to climb different mountains. A total of 334 mountaineers -- 87 from the US alone -- representing 31 teams are headed for Mt Everest.

As of 2013, there were 6,871 ascents — 4,416 from the Nepali side and 2,455 from the Tibetan side — by 4,042 summiteers. In 2013, 539 summits were recorded from the Nepali side, while the Tibetan side recorded 119 summits. There were 248 casualties, including 161 of foreigners, according to the Himalayan Database.

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