Can't connect right now! retry
pakistan
Tuesday Jul 20 2021
By
Reuters
,
Web Desk

South Korean Paralympian presumed dead after fall from Pakistan's Broad Peak mountain

By
Reuters
,
Web Desk
Kim Hong-bin is seen all geared up for a climb, in this photo shared on Twiter by the Alpine Club of Pakistan.
Kim Hong-bin is seen all geared up for a climb, in this photo shared on Twiter by the Alpine Club of Pakistan.
  • Korean Paralympian presumed dead after going missing on Broad Peak.
  • Kim Hong-bin, 57, had reached the summit with other climbers on Sunday, but met bad weather on the way down.
  • The climber fell into a crevasse on the Chinese side of the mountain.


ISLAMABAD: A South Korean Paralympian was missing on Tuesday after falling from the world's 12th highest mountain, the 8,047-metre (26,400 foot) Broad Peak in northern Pakistan, the Alpine Club of Pakistan said.

Kim Hong-bin, 57, who represented his country in Alpine skiing at the 2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City, had reached the summit with other climbers on Sunday, but met bad weather on the way down, the club said.

Kim fell into a crevasse on the Chinese side of the mountain, part of the Karakoram range on the border of Pakistan and China.

"The rest of the group looked for him, but could not stay up there, and had to come down," Karrar Haidri, head of the Alpine Club, told Reuters. "A search operation is currently being put together, and when the weather permits, helicopters will join the effort."

The club had, a day earlier, reported Kim is presumed dead.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a Tweet he would hold on to the hope of finding Kim alive and await his safe return.

Broad Peak was the final summit in Kim's quest to climb the world's 14 tallest mountains, called the "Eight-thousanders" because all are over 8,000 metres. He climbed Mount Everest in 2007.

South Korean climber Kim Hong-Bin (2nd R) and his team pose with a member of Alpine Club of Pakistan at the airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 16, 2021. — Karrar Haidri/Alpine Club of Pakistan/Handout via Reuters
South Korean climber Kim Hong-Bin (2nd R) and his team pose with a member of Alpine Club of Pakistan at the airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 16, 2021. — Karrar Haidri/Alpine Club of Pakistan/Handout via Reuters
South Korean climber Kim Hong-Bin (2nd R) along with team members hold bouquets at the airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 16, 2021.— Karrar Haidri/Alpine Club of Pakistan/Handout via Reuters
South Korean climber Kim Hong-Bin (2nd R) along with team members hold bouquets at the airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 16, 2021.— Karrar Haidri/Alpine Club of Pakistan/Handout via Reuters

Moon’s message came a day after his congratulatory comments to Kim as the first disabled person to have scaled all 14 peaks.

"Hong-bin is now the first person with a disability to climb all eight-thousanders in the world," Haidri said.

Kim lost all his fingers to frostbite in 1991 while climbing Mount Denali in Alaska. He then took up Alpine skiing, and also competed at national level in paracycling.

South Korea's foreign ministry asked Pakistan and China to help locate Kim, ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam told a briefing.

Both have agreed and Pakistan said a helicopter would take off as soon as possible, weather permitting, said Choi.

Kim also founded an organisation that taught mountain climbing and other outdoor sports to children with disabilities.

In February, three climbers — Pakistan's Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Iceland's Jon Snorri, and Chile's Juan Pablo Mohr — died attempting to summit the world's second highest mountain, Pakistan's 8,611-metre K2.