UK & World News
Nepal Avalanche Kills Nine Climbers
An avalanche has swept away climbers and their camps in northwestern Nepal, killing at least nine people and leaving another six missing.
Officials said the dead on Mount Manaslu included climbers from Germany and Spain.
Police inspector Basant Mishra said the bodies of a German climber and a Nepali guide were recovered from the 26,781ft mountain, located 60 miles northwest of the capital Kathmandu.
He said: "Rescue pilots have spotted seven other bodies on the mountain."
Mr Mishra said at least five injured people had been rescued by helicopters and flown to Kathmandu.
Sources at the Spanish foreign ministry that one of the dead was Spanish.
Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said most of the dead climbers were French, and that others were from Italy, Germany and Spain.
French news chennel BFM TV reported that four of those killed were French, citing a climber.
German climber Andreas Reitero, 26, said he was sleeping in his tent when the avalanche struck at about 4am local time.
His camp was about 22,950ft above sea level.
He said: "It was a big sound. I was afraid.
"I was so confused that I can't say how far I was swept away or how many people were there in the camp at the time of avalanche.
"I had luck. I did not go far enough and was (left) outside... not buried under snow."
Mr Reitero was one in a group of 13 climbers - 11 Germans and two Austrians. One German member of the group died, he said.
A French Foreign Ministry spokesman would not confirm any deaths but said "at least three" French climbers were injured.
The accident took place at 22,950ft, making it difficult for rescue teams to reach the scene.
Helicopters were dispatched to the remote area to look for the missing after the early morning accident, but cloud and fog complicated rescue efforts.
Hundreds of foreign climbers flock every year to Himalayan peaks in Nepal, which has eight of the world's 14 highest mountains.
September marks the beginning of the climbing season, which runs until November.
In the last major accident in the area, at least 42 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed in heavy snowfall in the Mount Everest region in 1995.