A team of elite mountaineers were attempting to summit the world’s 14th highest peak but was hit by an avalanche, killing two Europeans and injuring another climber.
The team includes Switzerland’s Ueli Steck, Italian Andrea Zambaldi and Germans Benedikt Boehm, Martin Maier and Sebastian Haag. They were 100 meters away from the 8,027-metre Shisha Pangma peak in China when the avalanche hit.
“Two climbers, one German, the other Italian, were swept away in an avalanche on Shisha Pangma,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
The Europeans’ sponsor, Dynafit, confirmed the deaths in a statement, saying “teammates Sebastian Haag and Andrea Zambaldi both perished in the accident”.
The accident occurred on Wednesday morning, threw Haag, Zambaldi and Maier across steep glaciers and dragged them down for about 600 meters before being stuck in a remote part of the mountain.
US mountaineering legend, Alex Lowe, was killed in a massive snow and ice avalanche at Shisha Pangma too in October 1999.