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Indian climber dies in Everest bid to take toll to eight this season

By AFP

May 28, 2024 02:34 PM


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An Indian climber rescued from Everest has died in hospital, a Nepali tourism official said Tuesday, taking the number of fatalities this season on the world's highest mountain to eight.

Banshi Lal, 46, was plucked from the mountain last week and taken to a hospital in Nepal's capital Kathmandu.

"He died at the hospital yesterday," Rakesh Gurung of the tourism department told AFP.

Three people -- a British climber and two Nepali guides -- among the eight are listed as missing but presumed dead.

The latest fatality comes as the Everest mountaineering season nears its end, with the death toll relatively low compared to other years.

Last year was the deadliest season on the mountain with 18 fatalities.

Three others died climbing other Nepali peaks including a Romanian aiming for Lhotse, neighbouring Everest, and a French and a Nepali climber on Makalu, the fifth-highest peak.

Nepal is home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring, when temperatures are warm and winds typically calm.

All the Everest deaths occurred in areas above 8,000 metres (26,200 feet), known as the "death zone", where thin air and low oxygen levels heighten the risk of altitude sickness.

Nepal has issued more than 900 permits for its mountains this year, including 419 for Everest, earning more than $5 million in royalties.

More than 600 climbers and their guides have already reached the summit of Everest after a rope-fixing team reached the peak last month.

China also reopened the Tibetan route to foreigners this year for the first time since closing it in 2020 because of the pandemic.


AFP


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