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Singaporean climber succumbs to altitude sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro

A Singaporean climber passed away due to altitude sickness during an attempt on Mount Kilimanjaro. The travel agency, Adventures Unlimited, conveyed the tragic news on Facebook. Despite precautions, altitude sickness took his life, emphasizing its dangers and the need for proper acclimatization.

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SINGAPORE: During an attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, a man from Singapore passed away due to health issues caused by altitude sickness.

On a Facebook update, Adventures Unlimited, a travel agency located in the city state, conveyed that it had “received the sad news of a tragedy which had happened during the Kilimanjaro trek,” which was scheduled to take place from 3 to 11 August.

“One of our team members, Mr Darrel Phee, lost his life during the expedition,” it added. 

“The man was 28 years old,” a friend of the climber told 8World News.

Phee’s vital signs were reported to be “normal throughout the days of the hike”.

“However, on the morning of the summit hike, his oxygen levels dropped, and his heart rate increased,” it said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs offering extended support

It was decided that Phee should not proceed with the mountain ascent. As a result, he went back to the campsite, accompanied by a guide in compliance with safety protocols

It was reported that at the time, he was under careful observation.

“Unfortunately, due to the onset of altitude sickness and its serious health complications, his condition deteriorated, and he passed away,” the agency added.

Phee died of asphyxia and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), said the travel agency.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson said on Sunday that MFA “has been extending consular assistance and support to the family of the deceased,” the Singapore media outlet CNA reported.

“MFA extends its deepest condolences to the family.”

High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), also known as Hape, transpires when the body’s lungs generate surplus fluid, resulting in feelings of breathlessness and fatigue. This condition has the potential to lead to fatality.

According to a 2012 article released in the United States National Library of Medicine, HAPE stands as “the most common cause of death related to high altitude.”

Condolences from netizens and fellow climbers

Numerous online users convey their condolences for Mr. Darrel Phee’s untimely demise. Additionally, fellow mountain climbers in the comments share their thoughts and recount their own experiences.

A user expressed the unfortunate aspect of a young individual passing away at such an early age.

Another user expresses the sadness in the fact that despite Phee’s decision to halt the climb to the summit in the morning, altitude sickness still prevailed and led to his passing.

This highlights the danger posed by altitude sickness, and the importance of approaching it with the highest level of seriousness.

A user is advising everyone to ensure proper acclimatization to the altitude before attempting to reach a summit.

Climbers in the comment section are contributing their reflections and experiences, emphasizing the significance of training at lower altitudes before tackling higher ones. This approach is seen as a way to gauge and understand the body’s response.

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