April 21 - Family, friends and climbers gather in Kathmandu to pay respects to the sherpas who were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest. Rough Cut. (No Reporter Narration).
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ROUGH CUT. (NO REPORTER NARRATION).
STORY: Family, friends and fellow climbers paid their respects on Monday (April 21) to the Sherpas who were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest.
Monks and fellow sherpas played traditional music, while others adorned the coffins of the victims with prayer scarves and flowers at the event in Kathmandu.
At least 13 guides were killed and three are missing after the avalanche swept the Khumbu Icefall on Friday (April 18), in the deadliest accident ever on Mount Everest. The search has been called off for the remaining climbers.
As family members mourned the loss of their loved ones, a friend of one of the climbers said he was trying to build his career when he died.
At least three other guides were still hospitalised on Monday for broken limbs, ribs, blood clots and other injuries in Kathmandu hospitals.
Sherpas are an ethnic group in Nepal and have helped foreigners climb the country's towering peaks since before Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary became the first to reach the top in 1953.
The accident focused attention on the risks they take and on overcrowding on Everest, where the number of fatal accidents has risen in recent decades, although it dropped last year.
The government has issued 334 permits this season, up from 328 last year, with a similar number of guides assisting - and often doing precarious work fixing ropes and ladders to make the mountain safer for their clients.
Shocked and demoralised by the accident, several sherpa guides have called for the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) mountain to be closed to expeditions during the popular climbing season that runs through May this year as a mark of respect for the dead.
Some sherpas oppose closing Everest this season because the expeditions are their main livelihood, helping them make up to $5,000 a year in a country with an average annual income of just $700.
The government, for which expeditions are a main source of income, said it was up to the sherpas to decide.
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