The death toll of Indian climbers to Mount Everest surged to 8 as two more mountaineers who perished in their expedition to the world's highest peak during this season died.
According to the expedition organisers, Nihal Bagwan (27) and Kalpana Das (49) died along with another Austrian climber above the high camp of 8,848-meter Mount Everest while descending the summit.
Bagwan, who hailed from Maharashtra, died after he was rescued by a group of Sherpa climbers from the balcony area, said Babu Sherpa, Managing Director at Peak Promotion Pvt Ltd, adding he breathed his last at Camp IV on Mount Everest on the Nepal side.
"The 27-year-old climber died at Camp IV after he fell ill near balcony area while returning from the summit of Mt Everest," Sherpa said.
Bagwan was the leader of a two-member expedition, he added.
Meanwhile, Das, who was a member of the 'Three Women Expedition' breathed her last near the balcony area, while she was descending from the summit point on Mount Everest on Wednesday, said Gyanendra Shrestha, a liaison officer at the Everest base camp.
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Austrian climber Ing Landgraf (Ernst), 65, died Wednesday and was part of an expedition run by Kobler & Partner from the Tibetan side, said Subash Shrestha, an official at Himalaya Vision Pvt Ltd.
With the latest fatalities, the death toll on the mountains of above 8,000 metres has risen to 16, according to expedition officials.
"At least eight Indian climbers are among 16 persons killed on different mountains," the officials said.
Mumbai-based Anjali S Kulkarni died after she fell ill while coming down from the summit point on Wednesday.
Earlier last week, Army soldier Ravi Thakar (28), was found dead inside his tent at Camp IV on Mount Everest, while Narayan Singh died at Camp IV last Thursday, when he was descending the 8,485-meter Mount Makalu summit, world's fifth highest mountain.
Two Indian climbers from West Bengal - Biplab Baidya (48) and Kuntal Karar (46) - died in Nepal last week due to high altitude sickness near the summit of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world's third tallest peak.
Dipankar Ghos from Kolkata, who went missing from above Camp IV while returning from the Mount Makalu summit, died last week.
Nepal opened the climbing route to the world's highest peak on May 14, when a team of eight Sherpas successfully scaled the Mount Everest, becoming the first team to reach the summit.
Nepal is home to some of the world's highest mountain peaks.
Each year, hundreds of climbers flock to the country to scale Himalayan peaks during the spring season that begins around March and ends in June.
According to Nepal Department of Tourism, more than 4,400 people have scaled the summit since Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first conquered the mountain in 1953.