Three die on Mount Everest as photo shows long queue of climbers trying to reach summit

The queue to reach the top of Mount Everest (Nirmal Purja)

Three people have died on Mount Everest amid scenes of overcrowding at the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

The latest fatalities bring the number of people who have died on the mountain in the past week to seven.

The three victims were said to have died from exhaustion while descending from the summit.

In the last few days, a 65-year-old Austrian climber, an Irish professor and an Indian mountaineer have also lost their lives on Mount Everest.

Mount Everest (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa)

The deaths come amid traffic jams near the summit as record numbers make the ascent, despite calls to limit the number of climbing permits.

It has been reported that Nepal has issued 381 permits of roughly £8,600 each for the spring climbing season at the world's highest peak.

A photograph of hundreds of climbers queueing to reach the top of Everest ignited fears that the high number of attempts are putting lives at risk.

The photo of the route to the 8,848m (29,029ft) summit was taken by Nirmal Purja, a former Gurkha and Royal Marine.

Mr Purja, who is making a world-record attempt to climb all 14 peaks of the Himalayas in seven months, estimated that there were around 320 climbers in the queue.

The number of people climbing Everest in 2019 could exceed last year's record of 807 people.

This has led to calls for limits to be put in place.

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Among those calling for a reduction in numbers was Ben Fogle, the television presenter who climbed the mountain last year.

He called it a "London Marathon style lottery for climbing permits" in a Twitter post, but was then criticised for helping to make the ascent popular after writing a book on his climb to the top of Mount Everest.

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