J&K: Russian skier dead, several trapped as avalanche hits Gulmarg region

A massive rescue operation has been launched to save those trapped

J&K avalanche Search and resuce mission underway in Gulmarg region | ANI

One Russian skier died and several others were trapped by an avalanche that hit Kashmir's Gulmarg on Thursday. According to officials, six others including a local guide were rescued.

Authorities had issued an avalance warning for the area after Gulmarg recorded about 5 feet of snowfall. The avalanche struck the Kongdoori slopes of Gulmarg at around 2 pm, trapping several skiers under its debris.

One of the Russian skiers has died and six are undergoing treatment at a local hospital, the officials said.

"A collaborative effort between the Gulmarg Ski Patrol of Tourism Department and Police resulted in the successful rescue of a group comprising six Russian skiers and one local guide following an avalanche at the higher reaches of Gulmarg, known as Army Ridge," a government spokesperson said. "Despite the valiant efforts of the rescue team, one Russian skier tragically lost his life due to the avalanche," the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Waseem Raja, CEO of the Gulmarg Development Authority, said a "massive rescue operation" had been launched to save those trapped.

In February last year, two Polish skiers died and 19 were rescued after an avalanche swept through the same Gulmarg region. 

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council secretary Nuzhat Gull said all athletes participating in the ongoing 4th Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg were safe.

"All Khelo India athletes are safe after the avalanche hit Khilanmarg area of Gulmarg... All the fixtures are being run as per schedule," Gull posted on X.

The Winter Games is set to conclude on Sunday.

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