The  worst one- day avalanche in the history of Nepalese mountaineering  killed 16 brave Sherpas in the Khumbu Glacier on 18 April 2014. HRA Everest ER doctors At Everest Base Camp medical Clinic did their best to provide medical care to the survivors. They also did their best in handling the dead bodies. This was an accident beyond our ability to help very much.

Lakpa Norbu Sherpa accompanied with the search and rescue team to the avalanche site. Dr. Suzy Stoke, Dr. Sanjeev  Bhandari and  Dr. Pranav Koirala managed the EBC Clinic. Communication was not easy that day. I heard the information around 8.30 am from the ministry of Home affaires. I then called Wongchu Sherpa and Ang Tshering Sherpa to find out about the accident. I informed about the avalanche to the chairman of HRA Santa Subba and Dr. Buddha Basnyat,.  I also contacted Ministry of Tourism, and then the HRA Pheriche Aid-post.  Pheriche aid-post had not heard about this tragedy. I talked to Gobinda Bashyal at Pheriche and told them to be ready for necessary help and support during this emergency situation.

Many embassies/consulates started to call us and ask for details. National and international press media also contacted us to find details. Initially the message was unclear ie; how many people were affected by the avalanche. Some says 4 dead and few missing, later 6 dead and few missing. Sadly the number was increasing.

By the afternoon of 18 April the search and rescue team members who went to the avalanche site to help saves the lives of climbing Sherpas and guides returned to EBC with deep sadness. There were 12 dead, 4 missing and only 4 survivors. Simrik Air helicopter was actively involved in bringing the dead bodies and survivors from avalanche site to EBC and from EBC to Pheriche.

Survivors were taken to the HRA EBC Clinic for treatment. Doctors provided them the best possible medical care and they were sent down to Pheriche. Dead bodies were also sent down to Pheriche.

Survivors were taken to the Pheriche aid-post. Doctors provided medical care to the survivor. Later one survivor felt much better at Pheriche and stayed at Pheriche. 3 survivors and 12 dead bodies were sent down to Lukla by Nepal Army Helicopter. I was informed every single detail by Gobinda Bashyal from Pheriche Aid-post. I was also communicating the message to the ministry of Tourism and to our Chairman of HRA, Medical Director and concerned authority. Official authority was the ministry of Tourism to speak out about this accident. Nevertheless, being medical service provider organization, the chairman of HRA and I were communicating from the point of medical assistance to the national and international press. Doctors and Gobi at Pheriche were busy in providing medical service as well the management of dead bodies at Pheriche. When all the dead bodies and survivors were sent down to Lukla, the staff and doctors had time to rest.

Next day one more dead body was found by the search and rescue team which was also sent down to Lukla. Concerned authority managed to send the dead bodies to the families and survivors to the hospital in Kathmandu.

What a job we have! Most of the time it is about helping very sick people to save their lives in the remote Himalayas. Unfortunately some time we have to deal with tragedies like this . This is our Karma. This is also our dharma and this has been our way of life.

Thanks to the doctors and staff at EBC and Pheriche.

 Prakash Adhikari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal

Dhobichaur, Lazimpat (North Gate of the Royal Palace)
P.O. Box No. 4944,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: +977-1-4440292 / 4440293
Fax: +977-1-4411956
E-mail : hra@mail.com.np

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