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Indian climbers killed in the Everest 'traffic jam'

IANS  |  Kathmandu 

Two Indians died on due to hours-long "traffic jam", just days after expedition leaders and the government claimed overcrowding on the world's tallest mountain was not a worry.

Indian Kalpana Das, 49, reached the summit, but died on Thursday afternoon while descending as a large number of climbers queued near the top. She was a member of the "Three Women Expedition", Gyanendra Shrestha, a at the base camp was cited as saying by

Another Indian climber, 27-year-old from Maharashtra, died on his return from the summit. Babu Sherpa, at Peak Promotion Pvt Ltd, said Bagwan breathed his last at on the on the side after he was rescued by a group of Sherpas.

"The died at after he fell ill near the balcony area while returning from the summit," Sherpa said and added Bagwan was the of a two-member expedition.

Their deaths were attributed primarily to a long queue of both ascending and descending climbers, forcing many to wait for hours at 8,000 metres plus altitudes.

A 65-year-old Austrian climber, meanwhile, died on the side of the mountain.

Earlier this week, (India), 55, and (USA), 55, died on the mountain. The woman's expedition agency, Arun Treks and Expeditions, said she died of "exhaustion".

The American died while descending from the summit, 15 metres below the Hillary Step, which stands at 8,790 metres. "He died of altitude sickness as he had lost energy," said Pasang Tenje Sherpa, of Pioneer Adventure, the climber's expedition agency.

Also, an Irish mountaineer is presumed to have died after he slipped and fell close to the summit on May 16. Indian climber died while returning from the summit last week.

A "traffic jam" occurs on the Everest when many climbers vie for the summit at the same time and can be especially dangerous above 8,000 metres, called the "Death Zone".

The last steep challenge before the summit occurs after the Hillary Step -- a vertical rock face at 8,790 metres -- which many climbers said was dislodged in the 2015 earthquake.

In a "traffic jam", exhausted climbers are often forced to wait for several hours for their turn to ascend or descend on a single rope, increasing risks of exhaustion, frostbite or altitude sickness. Climbers could also run out of oxygen.

The number of people climbing Everest in 2019 could exceed last year's record of 807 people reaching the summit, officials said. The rising numbers of people climbing, and dying, on the Everest has led for calls for permits to be limited.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 17:40 IST
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