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Climbers ‘walked over dying porter’

Shocking drone footage shows climbers stepping over a seriously injured sherpa on the world’s second-highest mountain.

Dozens of climbers pass by a seriously injured porter on K2, as they continue to the top.

Drone footage shows Mohammad Hassan, 27, on the ground seriously injured approximately 400 metres from the summit of the treacherous K2 mountain. Dozens of fellow climbers approach him on a narrow ledge, however others can be seen leaving him behind and continuing to the peak.

Hassan, a local porter and father-of-three, was fixing the rope for the climbers when he fell from a cliff near the summit, about 8200m high.

Norway’s Kristin Harila and her team are alleged to have passed Hassan but she has denied claims they did nothing to try and help him.

By climbing K2, Harila achieved a record of climbing 14 of the world’s highest peaks in just over three months to become the fastest climber to scale all peaks above 8000m.

Mohammad Hassan died on K2, pictured on drone footage from fellow climbers.

The incident has sparked fury among some fellow mountaineers about the treatment of sherpas as “second-class human beings”.

Mountaineer Philip Flamig, an Austrian who was climbing on K2 with Wilhelm Steindl on the same day, said footage the two recorded using a drone shows climbers walking over Hassan’s body instead of helping him.

“He is being treated by one person while everyone else is pushing towards the summit,” he told Austria’s Standard newspaper of the footage.

“The fact is that there was no organised rescue operation although there were Sherpas and mountain guides on site who could have taken action.

Mohammad Hassan fell while securing a rope.

“If he had been a westerner, he would have been rescued immediately,” he added. “No one felt responsible for him. What happened there is a disgrace. A living human was left lying so that records could be set.”

Harila has denied the claims against her, saying her team did all they could to save Hassan but conditions were too dangerous to move him.

“It is simply not true to say that we did nothing to help him,” she told the Telegraph. “We tried to lift him back up for an hour-and-a-half and my cameraman stayed on for another hour to look after him. At no point was he left alone.

“Given the conditions, it is hard to see how he could have been saved. He fell on what is probably the most dangerous part of the mountain where the chances of carrying someone off were limited by the narrow trail and poor snow conditions.”

Kristin Harila in Kathmandu on August 5 after setting the record for the fastest summit of all 14 of the world’s 8000m mountains. Picture: Prakash Mathema / AFP

Meanwhile, Lakpa Sherpa, a mountaineer who was on the climb and took the video, told the Daily Mail there were attempts made to save his life.

“Some of the climbers and sherpas tried to save his life although he passed away,” he said.

“The climbers have all spent a lot of money to do this climb and there is the value of time too for the climb. Hundreds of climbers tried to save him but they cannot give up their mission.

“The reality is they have tried to save the life and this is below the great serace bottle neck, where it’s impossible to cross without rope so it’s a very difficult situation.

“Many climbers and sherpas told him to go back as he had very poor equipment and was not well equipped and also there was very bad weather during the summit window but he did not listen and then he fell down.

“It was very difficult to bring the body down. They have to summit the mountain. There’s only a little chance for them.”

Pakistani porters hiking on the trail between Askole and K2. Picture: Joe Stenson/AFP

Abu Zafar Sadiq, the president of Alpine Club of Pakistan that regulates tour operators, said climbers may have pushed ahead despite Hassan’s injury because of the risk of avalanches.

Pakistani investigators will interview international climbers as they probe the death of Hassan.

“We have gathered initial information … and will start interrogating people who were there at the time of the accident,” said Rahat Karim Baig, a member of the investigative committee, said.

K2 is the world’s second tallest mountain. Picture: Joe Stenson/AFP)

“The most important statement would be of the other high-altitude porter who was fixing the rope with Hassan and saw him fall. We are going to interview him today,” Baig told DPA.

The climbers, who are from at least five nationalities, will be interviewed to determine if they could have aided in saving Hassan’s life.

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