In Brief

Three die on Everest as dozens require medical aid

Climbers Eric Arnold and Maria Strydom hit by altitude sickness day after Sherpa guide plunged to his death

Three people have died on Mount Everest in a spate of accidents on the mountain.

Sherpa guide Phurba Sherpa fell to his death on Thursday. "The 25-year-old had been working to fix a route about 150 meters [492ft] from the summit when he fell," reports CNN.

The next day, two members of an expedition which had successfully reached the summit were taken ill with what is thought to be altitude sickness as the group began descending the mountain.

Dutch climber Eric Arnold died in his sleep on Friday night, while Australian Dr Maria Strydom was taken ill on Saturday. Officials are unsure if they will be able to recover the bodies.

Strydom's husband, Robert Gropel, was also taken ill on the way down, suffering from high-altitude pulmonary oedema.

The deaths - the first of the 2016 Everest climbing season, which runs from March to late May - "came as the Everest tourism industry began to show signs of recovery after two years of devastating natural disasters", The Guardian says.

Last year, 22 people died in an avalanche following a major earthquake in Nepal, while 16 Sherpa guides were killed by an avalanche in 2014.

Meanwhile, four Indian climbers listed as missing on the mountain are now thought to be awaiting rescue.

Sunita Hazra, Paresh Nath, Subhash Pal and Goutam Ghosh were last seen near the summit on Saturday. Indian news outlet ND-TV reports local tour operators saying they had been located, although poor weather was hampering rescue efforts. The plan is for the mountaineers to be airlifted to safety.

More than 300 people have climbed the mountain this year, according to data from Everest Base Camp, but more than 30 have required medical attention due to altitude sickness and frostbite.

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