Singapore mountaineer dies of altitude sickness during Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania

A mountaineer from Singapore, named Darrel Phee Chin Ann, 28, has died of altitude sickness during a climb of the famed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa, according to information confirmed by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

An MFA spokesperson told the media company CNA that the ministry was “extending consular assistance and support to the family of the deceased”. 

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is considered essential training ground for climbers who wish to later attempt Mount Everest. Photo courtesy: Instagram/kiliwarriors

Darrel was part of a group taken to Tanzania by the Singapore-registered agency Adventures Unlimited. A Facebook post by the agency dated August 2 showed the group at Changi Airport, all with smiling faces. The post said: “Team Kili is ALL IN for the ultimate adventure! Get ready to join us on this thrilling journey as we attempt not only the highest peak in Africa but also our own limits!”

Sadly, “Team Kili” will now return to Singapore one climber short. As per information released by the agency, Darrel’s oxygen level dropped and his heart rate increased during the hike to the Kilimanjaro summit. He was sent to the climbers’ camp with the help of a guide.

Once back at the camp, he received treatment, but his altitude sickness did not get any better. Eventually, Darrel died of asphyxiation and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), a condition in which fluid builds in the lungs and hinders oxygen circulation in the body.

Though Mt Kilimanjaro is not one of the highest peaks on the planet — its height is 5,895m — it is called “the roof of Africa” and is considered an essential training ground for climbers who want to reach the roof of the world, Mount Everest.

Also read: RIP Shrinivas Dattatraya: Wife of missing Indian-origin climber from Singapore accepts end of search on Mt Everest

A post by Adventures Unlimited said: “AU remains committed to transparency and accountability to our participants. We hope that you can support us in this difficult time, understanding the spirit of adventure that drives us, as hikers, despite its inherent uncertainties.”