Nepal Sherpas demand compensation for families of avalanche victims

By REUTERS
April 21, 2014 09:46

 
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Nepal's Sherpas have demanded compensation of $10,000 for the families of 16 colleagues dead or missing in an avalanche on Mount Everest and double the insurance cover for expeditions on the world's highest mountain, crowded with climbers.

The government has announced an immediate payment of $400 to the victims' families to cover funeral costs.

But there is no provision for compensation for Sherpas who are hired by international expeditions to carry gear, and in the past these groups have provided financial assistance on their own in the case of accidents.

On Sunday, Sherpas with 31 foreign expeditions held a meeting at the base camp of the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) summit and agreed to launch protests if their demands were not met.

At least 13 guides were killed, three are missing and at least three others are under intensive care for broken limbs, ribs, blood clots and other injuries in Kathmandu hospitals after an avalanche swept the Khumbu Icefall, one of the most dangerous parts of the climb to Everest.

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