Nepal Says Overcrowding Not 'Sole Reason' for Mount Everest Death Toll RiseTop Stories

May 27, 2019 16:22
Nepal Says Overcrowding Not 'Sole Reason' for Mount Everest Death Toll Rise

About 10 climbers in Mount Everest have reported dead or missing this season allegedly due to overcrowding, but Nepal’s tourism authority has denied accusations saying the rise in deaths is not solely due to overcrowding but also because of adverse weather conditions.

Tourism Department's Director General Dandu Raj Ghimire said 381 people had ascended Everest this spring but as periods of fine weather had been short, the number of people on the routes had been "higher than expected".

Four Indians including Kalpana Das, Nihal Bagwan and Anjali Kulkarni are among the dead. Their deaths have been attributed primarily to a long queue of both ascending and descending climbers, forcing many to wait for hours at 8,000 meters plus altitudes.

One Nepalese, an Austrian and an American are also among dead or missing, reports say. Photographs of long queues near the summit have been widely shared as record numbers ascended the mountain in May.

According to the BBC, Briton Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died on Saturday minutes after reaching the summit.

The 56-year-old Kevin Hynes, from Ireland, died in his shelter on Friday and Seamus Lawless, also Irish, is presumed dead after falling near the summit. Ghimire offered "heartfelt condolences to those who've passed away and prayers to those who are still missing".

"Mountaineering in the Himalayas is in itself an adventurous, complex and sensitive issue requiring full awareness yet tragic accidents are unavoidable," he said.

By Sowmya Sangam

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