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Nepal earthquake: Rescue teams airlift climbers stranded on Everest

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Mountain rescue teams, helped by clear weather, used helicopters to airlift climbers stranded for two days at high altitude on Mount Everest after a powerful earthquake triggered an avalanche that killed at least 17 people.

[KATHMANDU] Mountain rescue teams, helped by clear weather, used helicopters to airlift climbers stranded for two days at high altitude on Mount Everest after a powerful earthquake triggered an avalanche that killed at least 17 people.

Romanian climber Alex Gavan said on Twitter that three helicopters had reached camps 1 and 2, which are at altitudes of more than 6,000m. Each helicopter is only capable of carrying two climbers due to the thin air, Gavan said from base camp.

Carsten Lillelund Pedersen, a climber from Denmark, posted a video on Facebook showing a helicopter landing to evacuate two climbers and then taking off again after 30 seconds. The weather conditions were clear.

Survivors on Everest described a cloud of rock and ice that smashed into base camp on Saturday.

More than 60 people were injured, leading climbers to send frantic messages calling for helicopter assistance to evacuate the wounded.

An estimated 100 climbers and guides were safe but trapped at camps 1 and 2 by Saturday's 7.9 magnitude earthquake which rendered the treacherous Khumbu icefalls leading up to them from base camp impassable.

REUTERS