Singapore Everest team decides to end mission

SINGAPORE - Three members from the Aluminaid Team Singapura 2015 team who were attempting to fly the Singapore flag on Mount Everest have decided to return home.

Team captain Muhammad Hilwan Mohamed Idrus said in an e-mail update on April 28 that the three members - teacher Yusrina Yaakob, 28, and brothers Ismail Latiff, 36, and Zulkifli Latiff, 42, both Singapore Civil Defence Force officers - will be descending from the Everest base camp.

They had initially planned to hold off for seven days the decision on their next step, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Nepal on April 25. The earthquake and its aftershocks triggered avalanches which killed 17 people on the world's highest peak. The total death toll has now exceeded 5,000.

A fourth member, economics graduate Seumas Yeo, was evacuated from Kathmandu on April 27 after sustaining an injury on April 15 during the team's Lobuche summit climb. He had surgery at Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu and was there when the earthquake happened.

The team trained for about five years for their mission.

Mr Hilwan, 29, who is in Singapore because he could not make the trek after suffering a stroke last year, said: "We want to sincerely thank all for the good wishes and support that we have received. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Nepal and its people."

jalmsab@sph.com.sg