Investigation launched after climbers accused of walking over sherpa as he died
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An investigation has been launched after climbers were accused of climbing over a dying sherpa in order to reach the summit of K2.
Having climbed over 8,611m, Norwegian athlete Kristin Harila shared a video of herself celebrating the feat on social media.
However, many accused the 37-year-old of ‘walking over’ Mohammed Hassan in her bid to reach the top.
The Norwegian athlete first uploaded the video on 8 August, sharing her excitement at reaching the summit of K2 in Pakistan.
The climber shared her achievement with her 160,000 Instagram followers - however, her post was overshadowed as during the ascent porter Mohammed Hassan fell off the edge from a height of about 8,200 metres.
The 27-year-old then tragically passed, leaving behind a wife and three young sons.
Dozens of climbers are accused of walking past Hassan in their pursuit to reach the summit, despite the fact he was in desperate need of help after gravely injuring himself from the fall.
Harila claimed she and her team did 'everything [they] could' to help Hassan, following allegations made by Austrian Wilhelm Steindl and German Philip Flaemig.
Steindl told the Associated Press: "There is a double standard here. I or any other Westerner had been lying there, everything would have been done to save them.
"Everyone would have had to turn back to bring the injured person back down to the valley."
Harila hit back against the mounting speculation in a lengthy Instagram post.
She slammed people sharing footage of the dying sherpa and spreading ‘misinformation’ around the incident.
She also recalled how Hassan had been part of another team making the ascent on that day, explaining how the tragic incident unfolded.
Harila claims that part of her team tried to help pull the injured man to safety. She decided to continue her ascent as 'too many people in the bottleneck would make it more dangerous for a rescue'.
She says her cameraman Gabriel spent two and a half hours trying to help Hassan, but eventually had to leave to get more oxygen for his own safety.
Harila said: “We did not fully understand the gravity of everything that happened until later.”
She finished the lengthy statement, calling the incident ‘tragic’ and asked that others ‘be kind’ following the untimely death of Hassan.
With conflicting accounts of the tragedy going around, an investigation is now being launched to get to the bottom of the tragic death, according to Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Pakistan Alpine Club, which is the governing body for mountaineering in Pakistan.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up for Hassan's family. You can donate here.