An avalanche has left 12 dead and four missing in the worst-ever recorded disaster on Mount Everest.
With peak season just days away on the deadly mountain, Sherpas and guides are busy preparing for the trek up the highest peak in the world.
“The Sherpa guides were carrying up equipment and other necessities for climbers when the disaster happened,” a spokesman for Nepal’s Tourism Ministry, Mohan Krishna Sapkota, told the AFP news agency.
Before a climber begins the assent, hired Sherpas set up camps at higher altitudes and fix routes and ropes on the slopes above.
The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix ropes when the avalanche hit them just below Camp 2 at about 6:30 a.m., Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal said from the base camp where he is monitoring rescue efforts.
Survivor Dawa Tashi — one of two Sherpas who were injured and airlifted to Nepal’s capital, Katmandu — was in the intensive care unit at Grande Hospital with several broken ribs.