Australian and Dutch climbers die after scaling Mount Everest | News | DW | 21.05.2016
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Australian and Dutch climbers die after scaling Mount Everest

A Dutch man and an Australian woman died in separate incidents in the Himalayas while returning from the summit of the world's highest mountain. It could take days to retrieve their bodies, expedition organizers said.

Dutch mountaineer Eric Arnold died only hours after climbing Mount Everest on Friday and returning to a camp at some 8,000 meters (26,300 feet) altitude.

The 35-year old reportedly told his teammates "my body has no energy left" and died in his sleep, according to the Dutch ANP agency. This was Arnold's fifth attempt to conquer the mountain.

Another climber, who also reached the peak on Friday, died after leaving Camp 4 on Saturday. The yet-unnamed Australian was also in her mid-30s, according to expedition organizers.

"After reaching the summit yesterday, she said she was feeling very weak and suffering from a loss of energy... signs of altitude sickness," Pasang Phurba Sherpa from Seven Summit Treks told the AFP news agency.

Due to the high elevation, it would take days to transport the bodies to Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

Reopening the peak

The two deaths mark first casualties since tourists returned to Mount Everest's summit on May 11, after a disastrous Nepal earthquake and a deadly avalanche effectively canceled two previous climbing seasons.

Some 330 climbers have reached the summit from Nepal since expeditions resumed. Among them was another Dutch climber, Niels van Buren, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. On Friday, the 37-year old became the first person with this diagnosis to climb Mount Everest.

Earlier this week, a Nepali guide and an Indian mountaineer died while climbing other mountains in the Himalayan area.

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