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Everest avalanche update: Injured wait in BC clinic to be airlifted
image story

May 5, 2005 11: 19 EST
Climbers injured in yesterday's avalanche are currently stabilized and recovering in BC´s HRA clinic. Some of them need to be airlifted to Kathmandu, but poor weather conditions have prevented helicopter flights.

The BC clinic crew had a hectic day yesterday. Only now have they gotten a few minutes to report on the events, and provide some more details on the injured climbers:

Devastating news

“While we were waiting for a helicopter to evacuate one of our patients yesterday we heard the devastating news about the big avalanche that wiped out Camp I,” the crew reported today.

“Ed, an IMG climber was one of the first ones on the scene and did a great job assessing the number and severity of the casualties, and giving us a pretty good picture of the situation up there. Thus we learned there were a total of 6 climbers wounded, injuries ranging from mild bruising to more severe (broken limbs, possible spinal injury,…)”

Crowded canvas hospital

“A rescue operation was started with a lot of the teams participating. Several hours later our clinic tent was suddenly a full house. With the help of our colleagues Doug and Rachel, all patients were assessed and treated as soon as possible.”

“Injuries ranged from scratches and bruises to broken feet, broken face and possibly a broken back. Most people were able to leave the clinic that same day, but two patients stayed for ongoing treatment in the clinic overnight. Everyone is doing well today, Some are still awaiting helicopter evacuation for further treatment in Kathmandu.”

A huge avalanche struck Camp 1 on Everest's south side route yesterday by 5:15 am (local time). It began when a big chunk of a serac fell from Everest's West Shoulder and hit the glacier at the left side of the tents in C1. Several people suffered injuries. Luckily, no fatalities have been reported!

The snow and the massive wave destroyed most of the tents there (between 40 and 60, depending on the sources). After the avalanche, only 5 tents remained undamaged.

Image of BC Clinic yesterday courtesy of BaseCamp MD.
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