NBC News crew was at Mount Everest during deadly avalanche, future of Discovery special unknown

By Daniel S Levine,

An NBC News crew was at Mount Everest this morning when a deadly avalanche happened. It was the deadliest single accident at the highest peak in the world, killing 12 Nepalese guides and leaving several people missing.

The accident happened Friday morning, when a group of Sherpa guides were trying to set up a rope along a climbing path. It happened just as NBC Peacock Productions and Discovery Communications are preparing for a dangerous live special, in which wingsuit jumper Joby Ogwyn plans to jump from the peak of the mountain.

According to The Huffington Post, Today’s Savannah Guthrie said that the crew was safe. Producer Jonathan Fierro and cameraman Ed Wardle both spoke on the morning show.

Wardle has been to Everest for other projects and said that they had actually planned on leaving Thursday night, but delayed their trip 24 hours. They remained at the base camp and were there when the avalanche happened.

Meanwhile, Deadline reports that Discovery has issued a statement on the situation, saying that they have not discussed the future of Ogwyn’s special.

“The avalanche last night on Mt. Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families,” the network said. “The immediate priority for Joby and the team is to assist the search and rescue efforts in anyway possible.”

The avalanche was the worst accident at the mountain since the eight climbers were killed in 1996. That was chronicled in the book Into Thin Air and will be the basis for Universal’s upcoming Everest film.



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