Skiers, both foreigners and locals, were at the slopes when the avalanche hit. At least 19 foreigners have so far been rescued successfully, police said
Representative Image. Pic/iStock
Two Polish tourists died in a massive avalanche that hit the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir's ski resort Gulmarg on Wednesday, police said.
Skiers, both foreigners and locals, were at the slopes when the avalanche hit. At least 19 foreigners have so far been rescued successfully, police said.
The bodies of the two Polish nationals have been recovered and moved to hospital for medico-legal procedures.
Also read: Life in Kashmir disrupted due to fresh snowfall, road, air traffic hit
Rescue operations are still in progress in the tourist town, in Baramulla district, with police teams on the job.
The number of those missing is not known.
"Avalanche hit the Afarwat peak #HapathKhud at famous ski resort in #Gulmarg. #Rescue operation has been launched by #Baramulla Police alongwith other agencies. Reports of some skiers being trapped are being corroborated. More details shall follow," a spokesperson of the Baramulla district police said on Twitter soon after the incident. Videos of the avalanche, showing people running for their lives, circulated widely on social media.
Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed for traffic for the third consecutive day on Wednesday following fresh landslides in Ramban district, leaving more than 800 vehicles stranded on the road.
The 270 kilometre-long highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was blocked by mudslides and shooting stones between Chanderkote and Banihal in the district on Monday.
"There was a major landslide on the highway at Rampari area in Banihal tehsil Wednesday morning. Besides, another landslide took place in Wagon," an official told PTI.
Men and machines have been deployed to clear the highway, officials said, adding that it will take several hours to clear the area.
Meanwhile, traffic officials have issued an advisory asking people not to travel on the highway.
According to them, more than 800 vehicles are stranded at different points of the highway.
The Mughal road, which connects Shopian district of Kashmir with Poonch district of Jammu, was also blocked for traffic due to heavy snowfall, they said.
Several inter-district roads are closed due to heavy snowfall in the mountainous districts of Jammu region, the officials added.
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