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4 More Climbers Die on Clogged Everest

One man who died was reportedly stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2019 6:45 AM CDT
In this 2013 image released by mountain guide Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expedition, climbers navigate the Hillary Step just below the summit of Mount Everest.   (AP Photo/Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger)
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(Newser) – The "death zone" near the summit of Mount Everest is living up to its name. At least seven climbers have died on the mountain this week, most of them after spending time caught in a lethal single-file traffic jam of climbers on the way to and back from the summit. The death of American climber Don Cash Wednesday was followed by that of 55-year-old Anjali Kulkarni, an Indian woman who also died while descending from the summit, CBS reports. Two more exhausted climbers from India died while descending Thursday, while a 65-year-old man from Austria died on the northern side of the mountain, away from the bottleneck of climbers, expedition organizers say. More:

  • "Stuck in traffic." One of the climbers to die Thursday was 27-year-old Nihal Bagwan, AFP reports. "He was stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted. Sherpa guides carried him down to Camp 4 but he breathed his last there," says a spokesman for Peak Promotion. The other man who died during the descent Thursday was Kalpana Das, 52. Climbers say people have been getting stuck for around three hours in the area near the summit, where oxygen levels are only about a third of those found at sea level.
  • Stunning photo. Climber Nirmal Purja tweeted a stunning photo of hundreds of climbers queuing to reach the summit.

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