South Yorkshire police officer survives avalanche

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A South Yorkshire policeman who survived a Himalayan mountaineering disaster has told how he escaped the horrific blizzards and avalanches which caused at least 29 deaths.

Paul Sheridan said walkers were stumbling through ‘an abyss of nothing’ as dense snow fell on the slopes of the Annapurna range in northern Nepal earlier this week.

Rescuers have pulled out more than 230 trekkers - most of them foreigners - since rescue efforts began on Wednesday, and are still searching for more survivors, believed to be stranded in lodges and huts. Hiking remains difficult because of waist-deep snow.

Mr Sheridan, an officer based at College Road police station in Doncaster, said: “I looked around and saw a Nepalese boy and his face was frozen. There was glass ice hanging on his cheek. He began to cry and we both began to cry.

“There was a Spanish woman next to me who looked as horrified as I did and I put my arm on her and said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re not going to die, we’re all going to live today.’.”

He eventually led a group down on a two hour trek to the bottom - and said his experience of hill walking in the UK saved his life.