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Monday, 30 April, 2001, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Fastest Everest climber killed
Mount Everest
More than 160 climbers have died on Everest
By Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu

Nepalese mountaineer Babu Chhiri Sherpa - who scaled Mount Everest in the fastest recorded time - has died in a climbing accident.

Babu Chhiri
Babu Chhiri Sherpa after his record climb last year
He died on the world's highest peak after falling 200 metres into a snow crevasse.

Babu Chhiri held two Everest records and was aiming to notch up a third during the current climbing season.

A spokesman for the Nepalese Tourism Ministry said on Monday that Babu Chhiri met with the fatal accident at the 6,500m mark at Camp Two.

He had left his tent to take pictures when he plunged into the crevasse.

Fastest time

He was accompanying a Nepalese Everest team.

If he had succeeded in reaching the top of the 8,850m peak, it would have been Babu Chhiri's 11th Everest climb - a record currently held by another Nepali Sherpa climber, Appa.

Last year, 34-year-old Babu Chhiri raced to the top of the world's highest in less than 17 hours.

Babu Chhiri also entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest stay at the top of Everest without oxygen.

He achieved this feat two years ago by spending 21 hours at the summit.

No education

Babu Chhiri wanted to use his success to raise funds to build a school in his village at the foothills of Everest.

Born to a poor family in a remote village, he never went to school.

But the future of his hopes for the village are now uncertain as he becomes the latest of the more than 160 people who have died during an attempt to conquer Everest.

Nearly 1,000 climbers have scaled Everest since Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal first made it to the top in 1953.

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See also:

31 Mar 00 | South Asia
Sherpa's race to the top
02 Feb 00 | South Asia
Everest's 'new height' disputed
12 Nov 99 | South Asia
Mount Everest reaches new heights
25 Oct 99 | South Asia
Legendary sherpa gives up mountains
25 May 99 | South Asia
Mallory's Everest climb disputed
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