KATHMANDU: An Indian climber who was evacuated from Mount Everest after he fell ill last week has died, taking the number of deaths this season on the world’s highest peak to five, officials said on Wednesday.

Banshilal, 47, was brought down without reaching the summit after falling sick and was evacuated from the base camp to a hospital in Kathmandu last week.

The Department of Tourism said Banshilal died during treatment on Monday. The exact nature of his illness was not clear but hiking officials said he had symptoms of acute mountain sickness when he was evacuated.

One Nepali climber, Binod Babu Bastakoti, 37, died last week in the so-called death zone, which has a very low oxygen level, while descending after scaling the peak.

Three other climbers - a British man and two Sherpas - have been missing since last week also in the death zone.

Mountain climbing is a key tourism activity in Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks including Mount Everest and a source of income and employment.

Nepal issued permits for Everest, each costing $11,000, to 421 climbers this season, which ends on Friday.

Officials said about 600 people, a figure which includes guides who don’t need permits, reached the summit this month.

About 7,000 climbers have scaled the peak – many multiple times - since it was first climbed by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, hiking officials say.

They say more than 335 climbers have died.