Death toll in Everest avalanche rises to 9, official says, making it deadliest in history

KATHMANDU - The death toll from an avalanche that struck a party of Nepalese climbing guides on Friday morning on Mount Everest has risen to nine, a senior government official told AFP.

"Nine people have died, we have rescued five others," said Tourism Ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti.

The death toll makes it the most deadly single accident in the history of modern mountaineering on the world's highest peak, an expert told AFP.

The previous record was in 1996, when eight people from an expedition died in a tragedy immortalised in the best-selling book Into Thin Air, said Kathmandu-based Ms Elizabeth Hawley, who runs the Himalayan Database and is regarded as the leading authority on Himalayan mountaineering.