Top Google executive killed in Nepal quake, 100s of foreign tourists missing

Google X executive Dan Fredinburg and host Sophia Bush (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for VH1/AFP)

Google X executive Dan Fredinburg and host Sophia Bush (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for VH1/AFP)


Asia, Australia, China, Earthquake, Extreme sports, India, Information Technology, Japan, Natural disasters, UK, USA

The head of privacy at the secretive Google X facility was one of the 18 people killed in an avalanche at Mount Everest, triggered by the Nepal earthquake. Hundreds of foreign nationals are also feared dead or are missing.

Follow RT’s Live Updates: Devastating
7.9-magnitude quake strikes Nepal, India

Dan Fredinburg, 33, was part of the Jagged Globe expedition team
that was tackling Mount Everest when the 7.9-magnidue quake shook
Nepal, according to Jagged Globe and his family. He died of fatal
head injury.

This is Dans little sister Megan. I regret to
inform all who loved him that during the avalanche on Everest
early this morning our Dan suffered from a major head injury
and didn’t make it. We appreciate all of the love that has been
sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will
live on in so many of us. All our love and thanks to those who
shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man.
He was and is everything to us. Thank you.

A photo posted by Dan Fredinburg (@danfredinburg) on Apr 25, 2015
at 11:27am PDT

Fredinburg headed the Google X research lab, which is in charge
of developing projects like self-driving cars, drone deliveries,
Google Glass, and contact lenses. Fredinburg’s sister posted the
news of her brother’s death on social media.

The manager’s former girlfriend actress Sophia Bush also published
an emotional post on Instagram.

BREAKING NEWS: we just had another big earthquake instantly
followed by a big avalanche … I tried to run out and take a photo
of it … Thank God that this avalanche did not reach
basecampPosted by Use The World on Saturday, April 25, 2015

An army spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that a mountaineering
team from the Indian military had discovered 18 bodies on Mount
Everest on Saturday.

Tom Taplin, 61, was making a documentary about the Mount Everest
base camp when the avalanche hit.

A spokesman for the Nepal Tourism Ministry, Gyanendra Shrestha
said that two tents at the camp have been filled with wounded
climbers. The Tourism ministry added that about 1,000 climbers,
including around 400 foreigners, were present at base camp or
were climbing Everest when the earthquake struck.

This is the stone puja I hid behind when the avalanche caught up to
mePosted by Use The World on Saturday, April 25, 2015

The first helicopter rescue mission has
injured climbers from the base camp at Mount

The Nepal Mountaineering Association has confirmed that 100
climbers who were above base camp numbers one and two when the
earthquake struck are safe, Reuters reports. However, the
association added that it has been difficult to evacuate the
climbers because the Icefall route back to the base camps has
been damaged.

Around 300,000 foreign tourists come to Nepal each spring for
activities like climbing, trekking and hiking, according to

Those climbers who survived were pleading for help. Romanian
mountaineer Alex Gavan was urging the authorities to support the
rescue mission with helicopters: “Many dead. Much more badly
injured. More to die if not heli asap.”

Carsten Lillelund Pedersen, a Danish climber, said there were at
least 40 people being treated for injuries, adding that the
avalanches were hitting the mountain one after the other.

It was “difficult to see the following avalanches, and there
are so many – maybe one every 5 min. – that I have stopped
Pedersen said on Facebook.

Communication remains difficult, as the network is down in the
area. “It is almost impossible to get in touch with
said the joint secretary for the Nepalese Tourism
Ministry, Mohan Krishna Sapkota.

Many people have turned to social media in asking for help in
locating their relatives who travelled to Nepal. They have posted
pictures of the missing people with their descriptions.

Others have said they will travel to Nepal themselves, believing
they can be more productive on the ground.

Officials are reportedly being overwhelmed by the number of calls
they are receiving from friends and relatives of foreign
nationals whose whereabouts are unknown.

Meanwhile, those who experienced the quake in the Nepalese
capital said the streets were filled with screaming people:
“We were thrown around the room fairly comprehensively, we
managed to get out. From where we were, we could see dust rising
from the hills of Kathmandu, we could people screaming in the
Mark South from the International Red Cross told
UK’s Channel 4 News.

Many people in Nepal are choosing to sleep outside, due to the
fear of aftershocks.

The death toll has risen
to 1,805 and another 4,718 people have been injured as a result
of the Nepal earthquake, an unnamed official from Nepal’s Home
Ministry told Reuters.
Local authorities are scrambling to
set up rescue missions, warning that the number of those killed
could rise.

The number of fatalities from the earthquake in India has reached
36 people, according to Reuters. Tremors were also felt in
Chinese Tibet where 12 people were killed, with four deaths also
recorded in Bangladesh.

Two Chinese citizens are said to have died at the Nepal-China

At least 47 Australians are unaccounted for in Nepal, Channel 9
reported citing an unconfirmed count by the International Red

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said that 388 Canadians were
registered in Nepal at the time of the quake. However, they
warned that registration is only voluntary, meaning that the
actual number could be a lot higher.

Dozens of Britons are also missing, according to local media.

Moreover, ten out of a total of 45 Czech tourists are still
missing in Nepal following Saturday’s earthquake, a spokeswoman
for the Czech Foreign Ministry, Michaela Lagronova said.

Google has created a person finder page for the Nepal disaster,
where people can either list a missing person, or provide
information of someone’s whereabouts. It is currently tracking
about 2,500 records of missing or found people, which can be
searched by sending an SMS with the name of a person to Indian or
US numbers.

Facebook also added a feature, allowing anyone to mark themselves as being
“safe during Nepal Earthquake.”

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