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Avalanche Kills 5 Polish Climbers on Mt. Everest

May 29, 1989|From Times Wire Services

KATMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche killed five Poles climbing Mt. Everest and seriously injured a sixth mountaineer, who was stranded on the 29,028-foot peak Sunday as heavy snow hampered rescue efforts, the Ministry of Tourism reported.

The six climbers belonged to a 19-member, Polish-led expedition that included four U.S. mountaineers. Two of the six climbers scaled the world's tallest mountain Wednesday, the ministry said.

Andrej Hainrich, 51; Miroslaw Dasel, 26; Miroslaw Gardzielewski, 35, and Waclaw Otreba, 50, were killed by the avalanche Saturday. Eugeniusz Chrobak, 30, the team leader, died later of injuries.

Andrej Marciniak, 30, suffered broken ribs and was stranded on the upper reaches of Everest, the ministry said. Foul weather and the steepness of the area hampered rescue attempts.

Marciniak and Chrobak reached the summit May 24, going up the steep and narrow West Ridge without oxygen supplies in a daring 20-hour bid from a camp at 26,246 feet, the ministry said.

The others, part of a support team, headed up to assist Marciniak and Chrobak after the two reached the summit. On Saturday, the avalanche roared down the mountain and killed the members of the support party, fatally injured Chrobak and seriously wounded Marciniak, who was trying to climb down alone to a camp at 19,685 feet.

Eleven people have died in the Nepalese Himalayas this spring; seven were on Everest.

The ministry also reported that six U.S. climbers reached the summit of the 28,169-foot Kangchenjunga, the world's third tallest peak.

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