Watch CBS News

Americans "lucky to be here" after Everest avalanche

After surviving a terrifying avalanche on Mount Everest unharmed, a group of Americans were rescued and ferried back to safety
Americans safely off Mount Everest after escaping disaster 01:44

KATHMANDU, Nepal - Sixteen Americans have been ferried back to Kathmandu unharmed after surviving a terrifying experience in the mountains of earthquake-devastated Nepal.

The group was only two miles away from Mount Everest base camp when the quake sent avalanches sweeping through the large grouping of tents. Eighteen people died on the mountain.

"It was very scary," Becky LaBarge told CBS News' Holly Williams at the airport in Kathmandu. "Worst thing we've ever been through."

LaBarge, of San Diego, described the moment the avalanche descended on their mountain lodge.

"We all ran back in the building and that's when the plume of snow and wind and everything hit," she said. "We're just very lucky to be here."

The Americans had paid for expensive travel insurance and they'll be home within 24 hours, but many others in Nepal don't have that kind of support.

Lobsang Sherpa told Williams he was in a bus when the earthquake triggered a landslide. Almost everyone on the bus was killed when the wall of debris hit it.

Lobsang Sherpa, who was injured when a landslide hit the bus he was riding in during Nepal's earthquake, speaks to CBS News in Kathmandu
Lobsang Sherpa, who was injured when a landslide hit the bus he was riding in during Nepal's earthquake, speaks to CBS News in Kathmandu, April 29, 2015. CBS

Four days later, Lobsang was finally to get some medical attention for his injuries.

But very little help is getting through to some of Nepal's most remote areas, where the earthquake has devastated entire communities.

Nepal earthquake survivors frustrated over lack of aid 02:57

Russell Brice has been a mountain guide in Nepal for forty years. He's been trying to get aid to the impoverished villages most in need, but he's frustrated with the Nepalese government's slow response.

"There's a lot of suffering, a lot of pain, a lot of heartache," he told Williams. "Everything here works on corruption, and of course the more money you have, the more you can get done. It is quite sad that money talks here all the time."

Four days after the earthquake, some of Nepal's poorest people are still waiting for help.

The death toll from the disaster stood Wednesday at 5,093, but the country's prime minister warned a day earlier that as crews reach the remote areas near the epicenter, that figure could double.

More than 8 million people have been affected by the quake in some way.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.