Rescuers retrieve body of Dutch climber who died on Everest

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A helicopter on Thursday retrieved the body of a Dutch climber who died last week on Mount Everest while attempts were being made to retrieve the bodies of two other climbers.

The body of Eric Arnold of Rotterdam was flown from Everest directly to a hospital in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. He died Friday night near South Col after showing signs of altitude sickness.

The orange body bag was taken off the helicopter at the hospital helipad, loaded in a waiting van and driven to the morgue. Team member Arnold Coster was accompanying the body.

Attempts were being made to retrieve the bodies of Australian climber Maria Strydom and Indian climber Subhash Paul, but it was unclear when they will be brought to Kathmandu.

Three climbers have died and two are presumed dead on Everest, while nearly 400 have scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak this month. A search was continuing for two Indian climbers missing since the weekend, but their survival was unlikely given the harsh conditions at such high altitude.

This year’s busy climbing season follows two years of disasters that virtually emptied the mountain.

Few climbers are left on the mountain who haven’t made their summit attempts. The end of May usually brings the monsoon season and bad weather that makes climbing the mountain impossible.