Pic: AP.

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Nepalese tourism official says six local guides have been killed and nine more are missing after an avalanche swept a route used to ascend the world’s highest peak.

Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal says the avalanche hit just below Mount Everest Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. Friday.

He says four bodies have been recovered and rescuers are digging two more out of the snow. Nine other Sherpa guides are still unaccounted for and believed to be buried in the snow.

All those killed and missing had gone early in the morning to the area to fix the ropes for climbers along the route to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit.

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