Officials doubt reported discovery of 4 bodies on Everest

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) Nepalese officials cast doubt Thursday on the reported discovery of four bodies at the highest camp on Mount Everest, saying no climbers have been reported missing.

Tourism Department official Durga Dutta Dhakal said expedition teams and other sources have confirmed that all climbers have been accounted for, including six whose deaths were reported earlier.

Officials said Wednesday that a team of Sherpa rescuers had reported finding four unidentified bodies inside a tent at the South Col camp. But about 30 climbers scaled Everest on Thursday from the camp and none reported seeing any bodies, Dhakal said.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said if four climbers had gone missing, their team members at base camp would already have notified authorities or other climbers.

Tshering said the Sherpa rescuers might have seen the bodies of climbers who had died in previous years and were still on the mountain. The Sherpas were not available Thursday for comment.

The Sherpa rescuers went to South Col to recover the body of another climber who died over the weekend. They said they saw four bodies in a tent at Camp 4 at South Col, at a height of 8,000 meters (26,247 feet). That is the last stop before climbers make their final push for the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit.

Weather conditions have not been good on the mountain this year with high winds and poor visibility, which delayed the first climb to May 15.

Four climbers died over the weekend on Everest, while two others died earlier.

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