ISLAMABAD (AFP) — At least nine mountaineers died near the summit of K2 when a huge chunk of ice sheared off the mountain and hit them, and several more climbers are missing, Pakistani tour operators said Sunday.
Three South Korean, two Nepali, a Dutch, a Serb, a Norwegian and a Pakistani climbers were among those killed when the disaster struck on the notoriously treacherous Himalayan peak, the world's second highest mountain after Mount Everest.
"I can confirm nine dead and three missing," Nazir Sabir, a celebrated Pakistani climber and chief of Nazir Sabir Expeditions, told AFP. "Three South Koreans, two Nepali, one Dutch, one Serb, one Norwegian and one Pakistani have been killed," said Sabir, who scaled K2 in 1981 and Everest in 2000.
"It is the worst tragedy on K2 since 1986, when 12 climbers were killed due to exposure," he said.
The BBC are reporting (link):
"At least seven climbers are feared dead in an avalanche after scaling the world's second-highest mountain, K2, expedition organisers have said. There are fears more climbers could have died in the accident in northern Pakistan, or still be trapped, but others did reach safety. A chunk from an ice pillar snapped away on Friday and broke ropes on a feature called the Bottleneck, reports said.
There are reports some mountaineers may be stuck above the Bottleneck, unable to descend as the fixed ropes are broken."
From CBS News (link):
A Pakistani tour operator says nine climbers are feared to have died in an avalanche after scaling the world's second-highest mountain, K-2.
Nazir Sabir says 22 climbers, mostly foreigners, reached K-2's summit Saturday but an ice avalanche struck them during their descent.
He says nine of the mountaineers are feared to have died and three others are missing. His Alpine Club of Pakistan organized a Serbian expedition on the mountain.