Friday 9 December 2016

Terror of mountaineers stranded at Everest

By Scott D'Arcy

Published 26/04/2015 | 14:05

People look on at the devastation after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake flattened parts of Everest Base Camp. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDTROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
People look on at the devastation after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake flattened parts of Everest Base Camp. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDTROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

The earthquake caused an avalanche on Mount Everest, leaving several tourists stranded.

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Climbers have been cut off from the mountain's base camp, which is reported to have been devastated by the initial quake and this morning's aftershock.

The mountaineers have been left cut off from various routes leading to the top of the world's highest peak.

Officials at Nepal's mountaineering department said at least 17 people had been killed and 61 were injured in the avalanche, with an unknown number missing.

Among the stranded Britons was Daniel Mazur, a Summit Climb expedition leader from Bristol, who tweeted: "A massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp 1. Please pray for everyone."

Later he said: "12+1 member at Everest Base Camp TV team passed away. RIP. Earthquake loosed tons of ice down, creating wind blast destroying Base Camp heart."

Rescuers use a makeshift stretcher to carry an injured person after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake flattened parts of Everest Base Camp. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDTROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers use a makeshift stretcher to carry an injured person after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake flattened parts of Everest Base Camp. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDTROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
An injured person is loaded onto a rescue helicopter at Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp. PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDTROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Following the aftershock this morning, Mr Mazur expressed further concerns.

He posted: "Aftershock at 1pm! Horrible here in camp one. Avalanches on three sides. Camp one a tiny island. We worry about icefall team below..Alive?"

Nineteen-year-old Alex Staniforth, from Chester, was said to be safe at camp one with the rest of his team.

His support team said on his Twitter account: "He is very worried for those at EBC, is in shock and has described being scared for his life as the avalanche went through them."

An hour later saying the teenager had said: "Many great people and friends have been swept away. Any thoughts of continuing in the face of such tragedy obviously ruled out."

James Grieve, 52, from Kinross in Fife, Scotland, had become trapped with a party of four others from the UK who were on a Help for Heroes climb.

The engineer, who works in Kazakhstan, managed to speak to his partner Shirley McGhie, 40, in Kinross yesterday to let her know he was safe.

She told the Press Association: "He said they were in their tents before the avalanche hit. They were warned to put their ice picks in the ground and hold on as tight as they could.

"He found it difficult to breathe and when it was over they just tried to get some shelter and get some tents erected. They were just really concerned for the others and those that were injured."

Sheffield-based travel firm Jagged Globe was still waiting to hear from several of its groups in the country, including teams climbing in the Himalayas.

One of its customers, American Daniel Fredinburg, 33, a Google executive who described himself as an adventurer, was among those who died.

Jagged Globe said in a statement: "It is with the greatest sorrow that we report the death of one of our Everest team members, Daniel Fredinburg. Two other team members have non-life threatening injuries, as a result of the avalanche that struck base camp during the earthquake and its aftershocks. They are being looked after in base camp.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan's family and friends whilst we pray too for all those who have lost their lives in one of the greatest tragedies ever to hit this Himalayan nation."

Press Association

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