Two bodies found in Nepal search for missing Koreans

Kathmandu (AFP) –


Two bodies believed to be of South Koreans missing after being hit by a Himalayan avalanche in January have been found, officials said Sunday, a day after discovering the corpse of their Nepali guide.

A wall of snow hit a trekking trail at about 3,230 metres (10,600 feet) near the Annapurna base camp in Nepal on January 17, burying four South Koreans and three locals.

Avalanches and more snowfall since then made it too dangerous to launch a proper hunt. Police returned to the area Friday after thawing snow revealed a bag.

"A team of rescuers in an army helicopter is trying to bring two more bodies from the avalanche site which we found on Saturday," Kaski district police chief Dan Bahadur Karki told AFP.

"Both bodies have not been identified yet but they could be of the South Koreans as they were found at the same area where they went missing."

The body of the Nepal guide was found on Friday. Another body of a local guide, who had worked for a Chinese team, was also found a month earlier.

Nepal has been in a coronavirus lockdown for the past month with all trekking permits suspended.

Thousands of trekkers visit Nepal every year for its stunning views of the Himalayas and routes lined with picturesque villages.

The Annapurna region is particularly popular, with more than 170,000 visitors in 2018.