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J&K: Security forces rescue 6 Russian skiers in Gulmarg's avalanche, one dead

Updated on: 22 February,2024 09:03 PM IST  |  Gulmarg
mid-day online correspondent |

The avalanche was triggered by the heavy snowfall observed in the region since February 17

J&K: Security forces rescue 6 Russian skiers in Gulmarg's avalanche, one dead

A foreign woman skier who was rescued after the avalanche in Gulmarg. Pic/PTI

At least one skier from Russia was killed and six other Russian skiers, trapped were rescued from debris of the avalanche that hit the ski resort town of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. A local guide is also reported to be missing.

"According to media reports, on February 22, 2024, approx at 2 pm, 7 Russia’n nationals came under an avalanche at the ski resort in Gulmarg, J & K. One skier died, six others were rescued as a result of the joint operation of Indian Armed Forced & regional administration," the Russian embassy in India posted on its X handle.

The avalanche was triggered by the heavy snowfall observed in the region since February 17. On February 21, a medium danger level avalanche warning was issued for Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir.

The avalanche struck the Khilan Marg on Afarwat Peak near the Army Ridge at around 2 pm, trapping several skiers under its debris. According to police, the group of seven Russians and a local guide ventured into a non-ski zone in the Army Ridge area, which is avalanche prone, reported PTI.

"There was an avalanche warning but they still ventured into that zone and unfortunately one skier died," Gulmarg police station SHO Haroon Kar said. As the news of the avalanche broke, a joint effort was initiated by the Gulmarg Ski Patrol of the Tourism Department, police and the Army to rescue the trapped skiers.

As per PTI report, the deceased was identified as Hanten from Moscow in Russia and his body has been taken to the Tangmarg sub-district hospital for post-mortem, the police officer said. The rescued persons were treated at a local hospital and one foreign national was shifted to Srinagar for further treatment.

Earlier in the day, officials had said that three foreign nationals were trapped under the snow. According to the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Baramulla, one of the trapped foreigners was confirmed dead while another is believed to have sustained serious injuries.

Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir is a avalanche prone area. The last avalanche in Gulmarg was in February last year, when two Polish skiers were killed and over a dozen were rescued. In 2010, at least 17 soldiers were killed after an avalanche hit the Army's High Altitude Warfare School.

(With PTI inputs)

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