Kathmandu: The Everest hunt for climbers began with a tragedy in Nepal with three mountaineers – one each from Germany, Canada and South Korea - perishing while returning after scaling the world's highest summit, officials said.

The three, included a woman climber Shreya Shah, a Nepalese residing in Canada died in a virtual traffic jam on top of the world, as massive windstorm swept the icy heights, an official at the Tourism Ministry said on Monday.

The jam near the peak was caused by a clamour by mountaineers for the summit during the two sunny days on Friday and Saturday, with an estimated 150    climbers making a beeline for the 8,848 metre peak.

Of the 150, 110 climbers have made it to the summit within a week of the climbing season, among them 13 from India.

Twelve of them, all from Maharashtra, have climbed the peak from the North Col (Tibetan side) while one made it from the South Col (Nepalese side).

Five other Indians are currently at the base camp and they will make attempt to the summit on May 26, according to the Asian Trekking Agency.

"There was a traffic jam on the mountain near the summit and large number still headed for the peak," the official said.

Among the others killed were a 61-year-old German doctor Eberhard Schaaf, South Korean Song Won-Bin, who had been missing since Saturday.

The official said a Chinese climber and Nepalese mountain guide were also reported missing. With this the number of death toll in the Everest has reached to 5 this spring season.


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