24 Sep 2012

Search resumes for missing climbers in Nepal

11:20 pm on 24 September 2012

A search operation has resumed in Nepal for seven climbers missing on Mount Manaslu, at 8,163 metres the world's eighth highest mountain, where nine others were killed in an avalanche.

Police say the avalanche struck at a base camp at about 4am local time on Sunday, the BBC reports.

The avalanche happened at 7,000 metres, making it difficult for land rescue teams to reach the scene, and poor weather had forced the suspension of earlier rescue efforts.

Four of those who died were French.

The bodies of a Nepalese guide and a German mountaineer have been recovered.

A further seven bodies have reportedly been sighted by rescue pilots. Spanish foreign ministry officials say one of the dead is a Spanish national.

Hundreds of foreign climbers flock every year to Himalayan peaks in Nepal, which has eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest. September marks the beginning of the autumn climbing season, which runs through November.

In the last major accident, at least 42 people including 17 foreigners, were killed in heavy snowfall in the Mount Everest region in 1995.