May 23, 2023: a member of the support staff for the Mt Everest expedition has lost their life, bringing the total number of deaths this season to 11, according to officials. The incident occurred at Camp II on May 21. Additionally, two foreign climbers are currently reported missing in the high camps of Mt Everest.
The deceased individual has been identified as Ang Kami Sherpa, who worked as a kitchen staff at Camp II. Tragically, Sherpa fell at the helipad while collecting logistic supplies. The expedition organizer confirmed the incident, stating that immediate evacuation efforts were hindered due to restrictions on chopper flights above the base camp in the late evening. Sadly, Sherpa passed away at Camp II.
This spring season has witnessed a total of 11 fatalities on Mt Everest. Furthermore, there are still two climbers unaccounted for in the high camps. One of them is Hawari Bin Hashim, a 33-year-old Malaysian who is deaf and mute. He went missing on May 18 after reaching Camp IV from the summit point. The other missing climber is Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya, an Indian Singaporean, who was last seen at 8,500m on Mt Everest. It is believed that Shrinivas fell into the Tibetan side. Organizers of the expedition continue their efforts to locate the missing climbers.
In previous incidents, Jason Bernard Kennison, a 40-year-old Australian, tragically lost his life while descending from the summit point on May 19. Malaysian police officer Ag Askandar Bin Ampuan Yaacub also passed away above South Col while climbing Mt Everest on the same day. Efforts are underway to recover his body, with Sherpa climbers making their way to the high camp.
Another casualty, Xuebin Chen, aged 52, sadly perished near the south summit of Mt Everest while attempting the final push towards the summit on May 18. Additionally, Suzanne Leopoldina Jesus, an Indian woman climber who fell ill at the Mt Everest base camp, passed away in Lukla while receiving treatment at a local hospital on May 18 at approximately 5:13 am. Victor Brinza from Moldova met his unfortunate end after falling ill at South Col on May 17. Phurba Sherpa from Sankhuwasabha also lost his life near the Yellow Band above Camp III on May 16. Lastly, American Doctor Jonathan Sugarman, aged 69, died during his acclimatization rotation at Camp II on May 1.
Tragedy struck earlier in the season as well when an avalanche hit an icefall route above the base camp on April 12, claiming the lives of Dawa Tseri Sherpa, Pemba Tenzing Sherpa, and Lakpa Rita Sherpa.
The mountaineering community and expedition organizers continue to mourn these heartbreaking losses. As search and recovery efforts persist, safety remains a paramount concern on Mt Everest, highlighting the immense challenges and risks associated with this iconic peak.