Three Sherpa climbers are missing after allegedly falling from a dangerous section of Mount Everest into a deep crevasse, Nepalese officials reported.
The incident reportedly occurred Wednesday when a team of 25 high-altitude guides got caught in an avalanche on a section of the mountain known as the Khumbu Icefall, according to The Print. The three guides were reportedly ferrying climbing gear between the Everest Base camp and Camp 1 on the Khumbu Icefall when the slide is believed to have knocked them into a 5-meter (160 feet) deep crevasse, Reuters reported. “A block of snow fell and buried them,” Tourism Department official Yubaraj Khatiwada told the outlet.
A climber filmed the avalanche as it swept across the Khumbu Icefall on Wednesday: https://t.co/o6Ukgb5L8F
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The Khumbu Icefall is a notoriously dangerous section of the mountain, comprised of a constantly shifting glacier and ice overhangs that can be as large as 10-story buildings. according to the Associated Press.
Though rescue helicopters have been deployed to locate the missing guides, the odds of finding them alive are “very slim’, the Everest base camp coordinator of the Himalayan Rescue Association, Lakpa Norbu Sherpa stated, according to The Print.
“It’s not that they fell into crevasses. They are buried under the ice masses in the Khumbu Icefall, the most dangerous section of Everest,” Sherpa explained, adding that a search mission carried out on foot was risky due to the possibility of more avalanches. (RELATED: American Professional Skier Killed In Avalanche: REPORT)
Wednesday’s incident marks the first accident on Everest this climbing season, which typically runs from March to May, according to Reuters.