Search for Irish climber missing on Everest temporarily suspended

Search for Irish climber missing on Everest temporarily suspended

The search for a missing Trinity College professor on Mount Everest has been temporarily suspended due to bad weather conditions on the mountain.

Seamus Lawless, an Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, had been part of a four-strong Irish expedition team which had successfully conquered the world's highest peak.

He had successfully scaled Everest but slipped and fell from an area known as the Balcony while descending from the summit.

The search is unlikely to get back underway today as night falls on the mountain and the situation will be reassessed tomorrow morning

Mountaineer Pat Falvey, who has climbed Everest twice, said the rescue search which was mounted this morning had to be called down due to the inclement conditions.

He told Newstalk radio that the high altitudes and wind chills of around 43 degrees below zero were hampering search efforts.

Mr Falvey said that at the moment there is hope for the missing climber.

He told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland programme that it was a sad incident after “what was a glorious day” when three Irish people reached the summit.

It is one of the most amazing places on earth. It is spectacular.

However, he said that any attempt on the world’s highest mountain was going to be dangerous as there is always a risk.

39-year-old Seamus Lawless from Bray, Co Wicklow, is married with a four-year-old daughter. He was climbing the mountain in an effort to raise €25,000 for the Barretstown charity which provides support for sick children and their families.

A spokesperson for Trinity College said yesterday that Mr Lawless and his family "are in our thoughts during this extremely distressing time".

Meanwhile, two Indian climbers have died while descending from the summit, it has been reported.

A spokesperson for Seven Summit Treks, the same guiding company which was part of the expedition involving Mr Lawless, told the Himalayan Times that the two men had passed away.

Indian Army soldier Narayan Singh died after he suffered from altitude sickness on the descent, while Ravi Thakar was found dead inside his tent at Camp IV on Everest early this morning.

A third Indian climber is said to have gone missing from the high camp of Mt Makalu in eastern Nepal.

Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke

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