Eight climbers from a South Korean expedition to climb Mount Gurja in Nepal have died and one remains missing, officials said on Saturday.
Nepalese authorities said a storm had struck the group of climbers at the base camp of Mount Gurja, a 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) mountain in the Annapurna region.
“We assume the incident happened because of a snowstorm because trees are broken and the tents. Even the dead bodies are scattered,” Nepali police spokesman Sailesh Thapa told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Wengchu Sherpa, who heads the Trekking Camp Nepal agency that organized the expedition, said the rescue operation will continue on Sunday due to poor weather conditions at the base camp.
“Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart. The conditions were too icy to continue the search,” rescue pilot Siddartha Gurung told AFP.
Sherpa added that an alarm was raised after 24 hours elapsed without contact from the group.
The expedition had camped out at the base of the mountain waiting for a break in the weather to make the climb. The group included renowned climber Kim Chang-ho, the first South Korean to scale 14 of the world’s highest mountains without an oxygen tank.