NBC News reports that the Google executive, who was from California, had been scaling Mt. Everest for the past three weeks with a UK-based expedition team, Jagged Edge, before succumbing to the avalanche sparked by the earthquake.
He is the first American confirmed to have been killed in this tragedy.
Jagged Edge wrote on their website. “It is with the greatest sorrow that we report the death of one of our Everest team members, Daniel Fredinburg. Two other team members have non-life threatening injuries, as a result of the avalanche that struck base camp during the earthquake and its aftershocks.”
The quake hit around 1:56 a.m. ET and generated at least 15 aftershocks (one being of magnitude-6.7) and triggered the avalanches on Everest. Nearly 2.5 million people live in the densely populated Katmandu Valley, and at least 29 districts have been designated as crisis zones.
The poverty-stricken nation has been critically hit by this natural disaster, an untold number of people have been left homeless, and medical facilities are overwhelmed with people seeking care. Learn how to donate to humanitarian aid organizations below.
Bush put on a brave face as she attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night, just hours after learning the news. She mourned Fredinburg on Instagram, posting a tribute to him. She wrote:
There are no adequate words. Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I’ll likely never find them all. Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it. His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I’m devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe.
I was so looking forward to our planned download of “all the things” when he got home. I am crushed that I will never hear that story. I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love.
Disasters like this are often unquantifiable, the enormity is too much to understand. Please remember that each person who is now gone was someone’s Dan. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it’s all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again. #goodbyesweetfriend #savetheice #Nepal
His younger sister Megan also posted to Instagram a statement, identifying that he suffered a major head injury:
This is Dans little sister Megan. I regret to inform all who loved him that during the avalanche on Everest early this morning our Dan suffered from a major head injury and didn't make it. We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us. All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us. Thank you.
He had been documenting his journey on Instagram, his last post being one of his friend drinking a cappuccino:
Fredinburg was one of at least 17 people killed on Mt. Everest while 61 more were injured. As previously mentioned, more than 2,200 deaths have been confirmed, and the death toll is rising.
Fredinburg, who graduated from University of California, Irvine, was head of privacy for Google’s innovation lab, Google[X]. Coincidentally, the avid climber had previously survived an avalanche on Mt. Everest in April 2014, while he and Bush were still dating.
Keep the country and those on Everest in your prayers. You can help by donating to humanitarian groups like Red Cross,Oxfam, CARE, Save the Children, MercyCorps, Habitat for Humanity, and Direct Relief.
You can also donate $10 to UNICEF by texting “Nepal” to 864233.
RIP to Dan Fredinburg. Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their lives as a result of this devastating earthquake.