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K2 death toll rises to 11; search continues

Latest update : 2008-08-04

The death toll in Friday's tragic avalanche on Himalayan K2, the world's second-tallest peak, has risen to 11, although one additional climber has been rescued. The search for additional climbers continues.


   
Pakistani rescuers Monday saved one climber and tried to help another stranded on K2, the world's second highest peak, as the death toll from an ice avalanche rose to 11, officials said.
   
"At least 11 climbers have died. This is one of the worst incidents in the history of K2 climbing," Sultan Alam, a Pakistani mountaineering guide, told AFP from the peak's base camp at an altitude of 5,200 metres.
   
Those killed in the disaster at the weekend included three Koreans, two Nepalis, two Pakistanis, one Serbian, an Irishman, a Norwegian and a Frenchman, he said.
   
"One Dutch was rescued by helicopter from K2 this morning while an Italian is still at an altitude of 7,200 metres," Alam said, with he roar of a helicopter audible in the background.
   
Another chopper went up to help the stranded Italian but could not touch down and returned after a brief contact with the climber, said Alam.
   
"Our four high-altitude porters left a while ago and it is expected that they will bring the Italian climber down this evening," he said.
   
The avalanche happened on Friday when a chunk of ice broke away in a steep gully known as the Bottleneck about 1,300 feet below the summit and swept away fixed lines used by the mountaineers as they made their descent.
   

Date created : 2008-08-04

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