MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Jammu & Kashmir: Massive avalanche kills Russian skier in Gulmarg

The avalanche struck as the Khelo India Winter Games, which started on Wednesday, were under way in Gulmarg. Officials said the Games, which have attracted hundreds of sports enthusiasts, remained unaffected by the avalanche

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 23.02.24, 05:29 AM
A foreign woman skier (in yellow jacket) who was rescued after the avalanche struck Gulmarg on Thursday. (PTI picture)

A foreign woman skier (in yellow jacket) who was rescued after the avalanche struck Gulmarg on Thursday. (PTI picture) Sourced by the Telegraph.

An avalanche killed a Russian skier in Gulmarg on Thursday morning while six other Russians and their local guide, who were trapped with him, have been rescued.

The avalanche struck as the Khelo India Winter Games, which started on Wednesday, were under way in Gulmarg. Officials said the Games, which have attracted hundreds of sports enthusiasts, remained unaffected by the avalanche.

ADVERTISEMENT

An official spokesperson said the police and the Gulmarg ski patrol of the tourism department had together rescued six Russian skiers and the local guide.

“Despite the valiant efforts of the rescue team, one Russian skier tragically lost his life due to the avalanche,” he said.

The avalanche hit the upper reaches of Gulmarg near the Kongdoori slopes, known as the Army Ridge.

“It is important to note that the avalanche site is located far from the Kongdoori area, where the 4th Khelo India Winter Games are currently under way,” the spokesperson said.

An official said: “One skier suffered minor injuries but is in a stable condition and is receiving treatment at a local hospital.”

Sources said helicopters and soldiers had been deployed in the search-and-rescue operation, but the official version does not mention army participation.

Videos shot after the avalanche showed many tourists stuck in knee-deep snow in nearby areas.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who is vacationing in Gulmarg, said the skiers who got trapped appeared to have been skiing “off the piste or groomed slopes in the back country”.

In a post on X before the afternoon rescue, he said: “Days like today remind us that while the skiing is fun, the fresh powder exhilarating & the visuals spectacular, skiing is not without its dangers & risk to lives. Praying that all the missing skiers are found alive & the reports of a casualty end up being unfounded.”

Around the same time last year, an avalanche had trapped 21 foreign skiers and their two local guides in Gulmarg. Two Polish skiers were killed.

Gulmarg had looked like a desert during much of this winter because of a prolonged dry spell across Kashmir. But in recent weeks, the Valley has received two significant spells of snowfall, attracting tourists.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT