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US trekker dies in Nepal

The American trekker is suspected to have had altitude sickness. – AFP Relaxnews pic, February 8, 2016.The American trekker is suspected to have had altitude sickness. – AFP Relaxnews pic, February 8, 2016.An American trekker has died of suspected altitude sickness after falling unconscious in Nepal, police said today.

The 53-year-old was hiking with two friends to Nepal's remote Upper Mustang region, an alpine desert with a maximum altitude of 3,840m.

The group had stopped at a local hotel for the night when the victim fell unconscious yesterday evening.

"His friends found him unconscious in the toilet... by the time they carried him to his room he had already passed away," said Harihar Nath Yogi, Mustang district's police chief.

Yogi said preparations were under way to airlift the trekker's body to Kathmandu for a post-mortem.

"We suspect that altitude sickness probably caused his death," Khadka told AFP.

Altitude sickness strikes when people ascend too quickly, as the decreased atmosphere pressure causes headaches, fatigue and dizziness.

Nepal's snow-capped peaks make it a popular hiking destination, with around 150,000 trekkers visiting the Annapurna and Everest regions every year.

But the tourism industry has suffered in recent months after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the Himalayan nation last April, killing nearly 9,000 and triggering a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 18 people including foreign climbers.

In October 2014, a massive snowstorm ripped across the Annapurna circuit, killing 43 hikers, guides and porters during peak trekking season. – AFP, February 8, 2016.

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