21/05/2012 04:55 BST | Updated 20/07/2012 06:12 BST

Mount Everest Deaths: Three Climbers Lost Descending From Deadly Summit

Three climbers have died and two more are missing on a return journey from the summit of Mount Everest.

According to the AP, mountain officials said that a German, a Nepalese-Canadian and a Korean died on Saturday while descending from Everest's 8,850m peak.

Two others climbers with the party, including a Chinese climber and a Nepalese Sherpa guide are still missing.

The German climber, 61-year-old doctor Eberhard Schaaf, was said by the AP to have suffered a cerebral edema related to high-altitude.

The Nepalese-born Canadian was named as Shriya Shah, while the Korean has not yet been publicly identified.

Mountaineering Department official Gyanendra Shrestha said that high swings which swept over the Himalayas on Saturday afternoon may have taken the climbers by surprise after fine weather on Friday and Saturday.

“It takes nearly 5 to 7 hours to summit in normal days but the climbers are struggling for up to 15 hours this time,” said Tilak Ram Pandey from the Ministry of Tourism.

Tiak said five teams recently cancelled their summit plans because of the weather, and the route to Everest will be closed on 24 May.

Offiicials at the mountain said they were waiting for more details.

Climbs such as the peak of Everest, which rise more than 8,000m, are known as "death zone" climbs because the concentration is too loan for most human beings to survive for extended periods.

Dozens of deaths have been recorded on the mountain. A study by the British Medical Journal found that of the 8,030 climbers on Everest between 1921 and 2006, 212 had died.

More deaths reportedly occur on the way down than on the way up, because of the energy lost trying to reach the summit.