Mount Everest’s spring climbing season has barely begun, but 12 deaths have already been reported.
According to Nepalese officials, at least 12 guides were killed in a Friday morning avalanche and another three are missing. The 12 confirmed dead were recovered from under snow and ice by the Nepal Tourism Ministry.
Two guides were also injured and had to be flown to hospitals in Nepal's capital city of Katmandu.
The avalanche struck an area above the 19,000-foot base camp known as “popcorn field” around 6:45 a.m. The guides were reportedly setting up ropes when the avalanche struck.
About 50 people, most of them natives, were hit by the avalanche in all.
The most recent avalanche is considered to be the worst in Mt. Everest history. The worst accident previously recorded was from a snowstorm in 1996 when eight climbers died.