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Woman climber, 2 Sherpas killed on Kanchenjunga

india Updated: May 23, 2014 02:21 IST

Two days after she went missing on Mount Kanchenjunga, Nepal Police confirmed on Thursday that Chhanda Gayen, a 35-year-old climber from West Bengal, and two of her Sherpa guides are dead.

Gayen, who scaled Everest last year, and three other clumbers from her state had successfully summited Kanchenjunga (8586 metres) last Sunday.

On Tuesday, she and the sherpas were climbing down from a lower (8,505m), Yalung Kang, peak of the world's third-highest mountain when an avalanche struck at 5,500 metres, officials said.

"The weather deteriorated while the climbers were at 7,300 metres. They were caught in incessant snowfall and got buried," inspector Krishna Dev Chaudhary of Sankhuwasabha district told Republica daily.

Police say the three climbers were trying to get back to a lower camp on the mountain due to bad weather when they got buried around 11 am on Tuesday.

Attempts to recover the bodies buried under snow have proved futile due to inclement weather. Officials say they will resume the search on Friday.

Temba Sherpa, 24, and Dawa Wanju Sherpa, 28, are the two Sherpa guides who have died with Gayen. Two other Sherpa guides and another Indian climber, who is yet to be identified, are reported to be safe.

Sixteen Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche on Everest last month. The incident, the single biggest accident in the mountain's history, ended the spring climbing season on the world's tallest peak.