published Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Avalanche sweeps Everest; 4-5 believed buried

KATMANDU, Nepal — Officials say about five climbers are feared missing after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest and hit a route used to assent the world's highest peak.

Nepal Tourism Ministry official Madhu Sudan Burlakoti says the avalanche hit the area just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. Friday. Rescuers and fellow climbers at the base camp are heading to the area to help. A helicopter is on the way from Katmandu.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association says four or five climbers are believed to have been buried and more injured by the avalanche.

Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support guides have gathered at the base camp, gearing up for their final attempt to scale the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak early next month when weather condition gets favorable.

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