MONTREAL — A doctor from the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec has been reported as missing in an avalanche in Nepal that claimed at least nine lives, the man's sister said Sunday.
Canadian public television said cardiologist Dominique Ouimet was among the group of climbers hit by a wall of snow late Saturday near the top of the 8,156-meter (26,759-foot) Mount Manaslu, in one of the worst tragedies in Himalayan mountaineering in recent years.
The doctor's sister and an associate confirmed the news to Radio Canada.
"The tents seem to have disappeared because the avalanche came by," Isabelle Ouimet told the Canadian network, adding that her brother was at camp Number 3, located at 6,800 meters above sea level, when the avalanche struck.
Ouimet, an experienced climber, was on an expedition to raise money for a hospital located north of Montreal. Radio-Canada interviewed him four days ago when he was at a rest stop 4,820 meters above sea level.
A spokeswoman at the hospital was holding out hope.
"We haven't had any news from Dr. Ouimet. We remain hopeful and hope to fine him safe and sound," said Chantale Fortin spokewoman at the Saint-Jerome regional hospital.
Another Canadian who escaped injury, Greg Hill, has said the doctor had gone above the point on the mountain where the avalanche swept down, Radio-Canada reported.
Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, is considered one of the most dangerous, with scores of deaths in recent years and just a few hundred successful ascents.
The dead were known to include several French nationals, one or two Spaniards, an Italian, a Nepalese and a German, according to sherpa Ang Tshering.
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