State Department identifies two American mountain climbers killed in Nepal earthquake, as death toll soars past 4,000

Two of the four American mountain climbers killed by the devastating Nepalese earthquake were identified Monday by the State Department. Thomas Ely Taplin and Vinh Truong were at a Mt. Everest base camp when they died, spokesman Jeff Rathke said.

Taplin, 61, was a filmmaker from Colorado who was making a documentary about the base camp, his wife told Newsweek. The other two victims were identified earlier as Marisa Eve Girawong, a medic who worked for Seattle-based guide service Madison Mountaineering, and Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive.

Meanwhile, the grim work of recovering the dead continued as the death toll soared past 4,000 and Nepalese officials begged the world for help. “We are appealing for tents, dry goods, blankets, mattresses and 80 different medicines … that we desperately need now,” said Lila Mani Poudyal, the government’s chief secretary and the rescue coordinator. “We don’t have the helicopters that we need or the expertise to rescue the people trapped.”

The massive 7.8-magnitude temblor devastated the small but mountainous nation wedged between India and Tibet that has long been a mecca for climbers determined to take on Mt. Everest, the tallest peak in the world.

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