Death Toll Rises to Eight as Indian Climber Dies after Everest Bid

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Death Toll Rises to Eight as Indian Climber Dies after Everest Bid

KATHMANDU: An Indian climber rescued from Everest died in a hospital on Monday, taking the death toll this season on the world's highest mountain to eight, AFP reported.

According to the news report published by AFP, Banshi Lal, 46, was plucked from the mountain last week and taken to a hospital in Kathmandu.

Rakesh Gurung, an official at the Department of Tourism, confirmed his death.

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

The latest fatality comes as the Everest mountaineering season draws to a close, with the death toll relatively low compared to other years. Last year was the deadliest season on the mountain with 18 fatalities, added the news agency.

Three more climbers died climbing other peaks. Those include a Romanian aiming for Lhotse, which neighbours Everest, while a French and a Nepali climber died on Makalu, the world's fifth-highest mountain.

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.

According to AFP, 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.

Multiple records have also been broken this year, including by Nepali climber Phunjo Lamam, who reached Everest's summit in 14 hours and 31 minutes, the world's fastest ascent of the mountain by a woman.

Climbers usually take days to reach the top of the 8,849-metre mountain, spending nights at different camps to rest and acclimatise.

Also, 54-year-old Kami Rita Sherpa, a Nepali climber known as "Everest Man", reached the peak of the world's highest mountain for a record 30th time, three decades after his first summit, added AFP.

The Government of 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 of ‘Icefall Doctors” reached the peak last month. -- AFP



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