Two skiers are killed and 19 others buried under snow after avalanche

Two skiers are killed and 19 others buried under snow after getting caught in avalanche at Himalayan tourist ski resort

  • Total of 19 foreigners and two Kashmiri guides caught in a massive avalanche
  • Two Polish skiers died while police said 19 foreign nationals have been rescued

Two Polish skiers have died and 19 other tourists were buried under piles of snow after an avalanche swept through a Himalayan ski resort in Indian-controlled Kashmir today.

A total of 21 foreign tourists and their two Kashmiri guides were caught in a massive avalanche and buried under the snow as they were skiing high in the mountains near the tourist town of Gulmarg, local police said.

‘A massive rescue operation has been launched,’ Kashmir’s police chief Vijay Kumar said. ‘Two bodies have been recovered so far.’ 

Police said 19 foreign tourists and the two local guides have been rescued, adding that the bodies of the two deceased skiers have been transported to a hospital. 

An ambulance leaves carrying the bodies of two foreigners who were killed in an avalanche in Gulmarg on Wednesday

The skiers were hit by the avalanche in the Affarwat area of Gulmarg, Kumar said, days after heavy snowfall in the hills of Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region claimed in full by both India and Pakistan.  

A video of the avalanche shared on social media showed a wall of snow roaring down a mountainside, sending skiers and other onlookers scurrying for safety. 

The Pirpanjal mountain range in the western Himalayas is a popular skiing destination for both Indians and foreigners. 

In 2010, at least 17 Indian soldiers were killed after an avalanche hit the Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg during a training session.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir and have caused heavy death tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the mountainous and forested militarised Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals.

In 2017, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in three avalanches, and in 2012 a massive avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.

Source: Read Full Article