North Texas

North Texas Woman Survives Mount Everest Avalanche

A 22-year-old Collin County woman is returning home from Nepal, among those rescued from Mount Everest after this weekend’s deadly avalanche there triggered by a massive earthquake.

Danielle Banks, an Allen High School graduate, sent a text message to her mother Friday saying that she experienced the 7.8-magnitude earthquake as she was making her way up Mount Everest. Bank's mother, Sharon, did not hear from her daughter again until two days later, letting her know she was safe.

“I don’t know whether to strangle her or hug her,” said Sharon Banks. “It's going to be awesome.”

Danielle Banks was working with a humanitarian group in Nepal, and was returning from a hike to the Mount Everest base camp when the quake hit.

“There’s no feeling to describe when you have a child that you don’t know if they’re dead or alive, where they are,” said Sharon Banks.

The Texas A&M graduate texted her mother to say she was OK, and her mother in Farmersville immediately arranged for a helicopter to get her off the mountain.

“Even though I knew she was alive, I still wasn’t settled because she still wasn’t safe,” said Sharon Banks.

Now at the U.S. Embassy in Nepal, Danielle Banks called her mother Monday morning.

“She just said she was fine,” said Sharon Banks. “She said its part of the adventure.”

Danielle Banks is booked on a flight to bring her home this Saturday, just days before her 23rd birthday.

“When I asked her I said, 'When do you want me to book you?' She kind of hesitated and she goes, 'Do you think I should stay and help with the relief effort?'" said Sharon Banks. “And I said, 'You know, Danielle, I think you need to come home and I need to touch you. I think you’ve been over there long enough.'"

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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