A snowstorm plowed through a hiker’s camp on Mount Gurja in Nepal, killing five South Korean climbers along with their four Nepali guides late last week.
The group, which included a South Korean world record holder, was trekking the 23,590-foot (7,193 meter) mountain when they came across the powerful storm on Friday, according to emergency assistance group Global Rescue.
The devastating accident was one of the deadliest to hit Nepal since an avalanche caused by an earthquake killed 18 people on Mount Everest in 2015.
Dan Richards, one of the rescuers, was quoted by Yahoo News as saying that the base camp looked as if “a bomb went off.”
The bodies of the victims, found to have suffered broken bones and head wounds, were found scattered across the base camp, which is situated at a height of 3,500 meters. Yonhap News reported that the remains of the South Korean climbers are expected to be returned to Seoul by Wednesday.
One of the victims was an experienced climber named Kim Chang-ho, who is recognized as the first South Korean to reach the summits of the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.
According to BBC, an alarm was set off on Oct. 7 after expedition organizers lost contact with the group for nearly 24 hours. While rescue efforts were immediately initiated on Saturday, the terrible weather conditions prevented rescue helicopters from landing in the area.
Based on the records of the Himalayan Database, Gurja’s summit has remained unvisited since 1996. So far, only 30 people have successfully climbed its peak.
In comparison, over 8,000 people have reached the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, which is also in Nepal.
Featured image via YouTube/Arirang News