A Dutch man and an Australian woman died of apparent altitude sickness while descending from the summit of Mount Everest in the first deaths this year on the world's highest mountain.
Eric Arnold, 35, had enough bottled oxygen with him, as well as climbing partners, but he complained of getting weak and died Friday night near South Col before he was able to get to a lower altitude, said Pasang Phurba of the Seven Summit Treks agency in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Dr Maria Strydom also showed signs of altitude sickness Saturday afternoon before she died, Australian media reported. The business school at Monash University in Melbourne posted on Facebook that the community was deeply saddened by her death.
"The Monash University community is deeply saddened by the tragic news of the loss of Dr Maria Strydom on Mt Everest. We are liaising with authorities and our heartfelt thoughts and support are extended to Maria’s family, her friends, colleagues and students.
For Monash students and staff who feel they may need counselling support, please access our services via: http://www.monash.edu/counselling," the school posted on Facebook.