SINGAPORE: A Singaporean climber has gone missing after reaching the summit of Mount Everest on Friday morning (May 19), leading to his family calling for urgent attention to his situation.
According to a petition on the website change.org, Mr Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya set out from Singapore to Nepal to climb the world’s highest peak last month.
In the petition, his cousin Divya Bharath wrote that on the way down, Mr Shrinivas seemed to have suffered frostbite and altitude sickness.
This resulted in him appearing to have separated himself from the rest of his group, and “fallen down at around 8,000m, likely onto the Tibetan side of the mountain”.
She said a team of sherpas began search operations on Saturday morning.
News website BNN said Mr Shrinivas was part of an expedition organised by Seven Summit Treks, a Nepalese company that offers guided climbs on Mount Everest and other mountains.
He was reportedly last in contact with base camp officials at around 8,500m.
BNN described Mr Shrivinas as “disappearing from sight” while on the way down. His sherpa guide managed to reach Camp IV, a final camp situated between Mount Everest and Lhotse mountain, at 8pm on Friday.
In the petition, Ms Bharath wrote that the family had reached out to the relevant governments.
“This matter needs to be brought to their attention on an urgent basis. We need a special rescue team that is trained to operate in such risky terrain, as well as to ensure that this whole rescue op is not hindered by diplomatic paperwork,” she said.
She added that Mr Shrivinas’ family was devastated but did not want to lose hope.
In response to CNA’s queries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Singapore High Commission in New Delhi has been in close contact with Mr Shrinivas’ family, local authorities in Nepal and emergency medical services since Friday evening.
Search and rescue operations are ongoing, it added. “MFA will continue to monitor developments and render the necessary consular support to the family during this difficult time.”
AFP reported on Friday that two more climbers had died on Mount Everest, bringing the number of deaths on the mountain this climbing season to nine.
A Malaysian and a Chinese climber were confirmed as the latest fatalities.
On average, about five climbers die on Mount Everest every spring. But this year, the toll has reached nearly double that a little more than halfway through the season.
The area above 8,000m is known as the “death zone”, where thin air and low oxygen levels heighten the risk of altitude sickness, and is notorious for its difficult terrain.
Nepal has issued 478 permits for Everest to foreign climbers this season, which runs until early June.
Since most will need a guide, more than 900 people in total will try to summit.
According to Nepal’s tourism department, more than 400 climbers have already reached the top since last Saturday.