At least eight people have died on Mount Everest this week, surpassing the death toll from the entire 2018 climbing season, according to multiple reports.
A traffic jam of climbers in the mountain's "death zone" has been blamed for two of four new deaths reported on Friday, according to AFP.
One of this week's deaths included American Don Cash. The 55-year-old died "at the peak of Mt. Everest accomplishing his dream of summiting the 7 summits," his daughter Danielle Cook posted on Facebook on Wednesday. Guide company Pioneer Adventure wrote on its website that Cash died after fainting due to high altitude sickness.
On Wednesday, a striking photo from mountaineer Nirmal Purja ishowed hundreds of climbers waiting in line on the summit slopes. Weather.com reported that more than 200 climbers attempted the summit on Wednesday because of the calm, clear weather.
Indian climber Anjali Kulkarni also died Wednesday after she became stuck in the "traffic jam" on her way back from the summit, her son told CNN.
According to CNN, the director general of Nepal's Tourism Department has rejected suggestions that the high number of climbers contributed to the deaths.
BBC reported that two Indian climbers - Kalpana Das, 52, and Nihal Bagwan, 27 - died on their way down the mountain on Thursday, along with a 65-year-old Austrian climber.
It's believed that the number of people trying to scale Everest this year could exceed 2018's record of 807 people reaching the summit.
There were five deaths on Everest in the entire 2018 climbing season, according to the New York Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.