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Saray Khumalo’s Everest joy tempered by team member's fall

Irish professor, Seamus Lawless, reportedly fell on Thursday after also reaching the top.

Photograph: courtesy Saray N'kusi Khumalo Facebook page

JOHANNESBURG - Saray Khumalo, the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest, is now making her way back to base camp, with her victory dampened by the disappearance of one of her team members.

Irish professor, Seamus Lawless, reportedly fell on Thursday after also reaching the top.

Khumalo and the rest of the team have made it safely to one of the camps where they rested before they continued with their descent.

The mother of two made history on Thursday morning when she reached the peak of Mount Everest, almost 9,000 metres above sea level.

Khumalo and her team arrived safely at camp four on Thursday afternoon.

The Himalayan Times said search and rescue operations were under way for Lawless.

Meanwhile, the group Summits with a Purpose, which is following Khumalo’s journey, said it would take two days before she and the other climbers arrived back at base camp.

Khumalo has been praised for her dedication to fulfil her dream after her first three attempts failed.

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