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The avalanche slammed into a section of the Mount Everest mountaineering base camp, killing at least 17, injuring 61 and leaving an unknown number of climbers and guides unaccounted for on other routes, an official said Sunday.
Twenty-two of the most seriously injured were taken by helicopter to Pheriche village, the nearest medical facility. However, bad weather and communications were hampering more helicopter sorties, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
The avalanche began Saturday on Mount Kumori, a 7,000-meter (22,966-foot) -high mountain just a few miles (kilometers) from Everest, gathering strength as it headed toward the base camp where climbing expeditions have been preparing to make their summit attempts in the coming weeks, he said.
Numerous climbers may now be cut off on routes leading to the top of the world's highest peak.