At least 12 dead in avalanche on Mount Everest

Katmandu, Apr 18 (EFE).- At least 12 Nepalese guides were killed and three others badly injured Friday in an avalanche on one of the climbing routes to the summit of Mount Everest, authorities told Efe.

The avalanche occurred before 7:00 a.m. as some 50 Sherpa guides were making their way from base camp to Camp 2, 6,400 meters (21,000 feet) up the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain, according to Tilak Ram Pandey, an official in the Tourism Ministry's mountaineering department.

The death toll may rise, as four other Sherpas who were part of the group remain missing, the ministry's Madhu Sudan Burlakoti said.

Nepalese news Web site cited a spokesman for the rescue teams, Lakpa Norbu Sherpa, as saying that 14 guides were killed.

Many of the guides who lead foreign climbers up Everest and other Himalayan mountains are from the Sherpa ethnic group.

Eleven climbers perished in a September 2012 avalanche on Manaslu, another peak in the Nepalese Himalayas.