Australian dies on Everest slopes

AFP-JIJI

An Australian couple survived for six hours buried under ice and snow following an avalanche in Tibet, only for the husband to die after descending the mountain, reports said Thursday.

Wendy Higgins and her husband, Dean, a company director from Adelaide, were camping on the slopes of Mount Everest with two other Australians when disaster struck on Tuesday.

While details remain sketchy, the pair were reportedly buried by snow, with the 60-year-old husband managing to dig them out after six hours. They then spent eight hours battling to reach safety, at which point Dean Higgins died, reportedly “as a result of altitude sickness, poor health and age.”

Chinese state media said three local porters died in the avalanche, with sources within the Dingri local government saying the group had “entered a restricted area on the mountain without permission.”

More than 300 people have died on Everest since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.