The quake that killed in four countries: 1,500 people dead after monster 7.8 tremor flattens Nepalese capital while India and Bangladesh report damage and casualties hundreds of miles away
- Dan Fredinburg suffered fatal head injuries in the avalanche on Saturday
- He used to photograph high peaks for Google Maps, dated Sophia Bush
- Powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused rock and ice to fall down peak
- At least 18 people have died and more than 30 injured on the mountain
- There are reports the avalanche has buried people in tents at base camp
- The death toll has risen to 1,500 in the quake which hit four countries
The deadliest day ever on Mount Everest is unfolding as the death toll of at least 18 climbers, including a 33-year-old Google executive, continues to rise. Dan Fredinburg, who used to date One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush, is the first confirmed fatality on the mountain after a shattering 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped across Nepal, India, China and Bangladesh on Saturday. He is one of at least 1,500 people who lost their lives in the quake, which demolished centuries-old temples in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. It is the worst earthquake Nepal has ever seen, and the highest death toll ever recorded on Everest, which has never seen more than 16 annual fatalities.
Fredinburg and other Google executives were climbing with the Everest adventure team Jagged Globe. The rest of his team sustained non life-threatening injuries. His job title was ‘Google Adventurer’. He used to photograph the world’s high peaks for Google Maps, and was also head of privacy for the firm’s elusive invention factory Google X. His former girlfriend Bush, who ended their one-year relationship last February, delivered the news in an emotional post on Instagram, which paid tribute to ‘one of the great loves of my life’ who was ‘one of a kind’.
In a long statement, Bush said: ‘There are no adequate words. Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I’ll likely never find them all. ‘Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world.’
The couple separated in February 2014 due to long distance despite friends’ suspicions they might one day marry. But they stayed close. Last April, before they had announced their split, Fredinburg narrowly survived another Mount Everest avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas – and Bush took to Twitter to assure her followers he was all right.
Bush tweeted: ‘For all concerned, @danfredinburg & team are safe at Camp 1 on #Everest after the avalanche. Please keep the Sherpas in your prayers.’ Fredinburg’s death was first confirmed by his younger sister Megan, who posted a picture of her brother climbing a mountain to his Instagram account with an explanatory caption.
SOPHIA BUSH TRIBUTE TO ‘ONE OF MY GREATEST LOVES’ DAN FREDINBURG
He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I’m devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe. I was so looking forward to our planned download of ‘all the things’ when he got home. I am crushed that I will never hear that story.
I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love. Disasters like this are often unquantifiable, the enormity is too much to understand. Please remember that each person who is now gone was someone’s Dan. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute.
And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it’s all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again. #goodbyesweetfriend #savetheice #Nepal
She wrote: ‘This is Dan’s 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.’
More than 1,500 people have died in the Nepalese earthquake that ripped across four countries.
Disaster response specialists, including experts in search and rescue, will travel to Nepal overnight where they will assess the scale of the damage caused by the quake, which destroyed homes, businesses and temples in the capital of Kathmandu.
The earthquake also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest killing eight people and injuring at least 30 climbers. There are also a number of climbers still missing.
It buried part of base camp, raising fears for the safety of hundreds of climbers who are in the area, said Gyanendra Shrestha from the Tourism Ministry in Kathmandu.
A number of Americans are among those who have not been heard from since the quake.
‘All those who are unharmed organise help with the rescue efforts. Men, women and Sherpas are working side-by-side. The job right now is to assist the doctors in the camp here.’
Chinese media has reported that a Chinese climber and two Sherpa guides were among the dead. Climber Robin Trygg told Swedish news agency TT his Sherpa guides had been in radio contact with other guides on Everest and they reported an avalanche there hitting as many as 80 people.
‘We were sitting in the tent and drinking tea when the earth, all of a sudden, began shaking. We didn’t understand what happened,’ he told the news agency. If you are searching for someone or have information about a person’s whereabouts, you can visit www.google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake.
Read more at Daily Mail