26 May 2013

Climbers feared dead after avalanche

11:21 am on 26 May 2013

Five climbers missing on Mount Kanchenjunga in Nepal after an avalanche on Monday are now feared dead.

Tourism officials said the avalanche happened as the climbers descending from the summit of the mountain.

Expedition organiser Mingma Sherpa said they were from South Korea, Hungary and Nepal, and he was not optimistic of finding them alive.

"All our efforts to trace them have failed," he told the BBC. "The weather is bad and we've run out of resources to recover their bodies."

He said rescue helicopters have also failed to locate them.

The five were identified as South Korean Namsoo Park, 47, Hungarians Zsolt Eross, 45, and Peter Kiss, 27, and two Nepali high altitude workers - Bibash Gurung, 24, and Pho Dorchi, 23.

Kanchenjunga (8,586m) is the third highest mountain in the world. It straddles the border between Nepal, India and China.

Kanchenjunga translates as The Five Treasures of Snows.