Russian skier dead in Gulmarg avalanche, 6 rescued

SRINAGAR — A Russian skier died while six others, including a local guide, were rescued as an avalanche struck the ski slopes of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, officials said.

The avalanche struck the Kongdoori slopes of Gulmarg at around 2 pm, trapping several skiers under its debris, the officials said.

They said six Russian skiers and the guide were pulled out from the debris by rescuers.

One of the Russian skiers has died and six are undergoing treatment at a local hospital, the officials said, adding police personnel and a patrolling team of the Jammu and Kashmir administration were carrying out rescue-cum-search operations.

Helicopters were pressed into service for effective rescue operation and evacuation of the persons caught in the avalanche.

“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 said.

The ongoing 4th Khelo India Winter Games remain unaffected by the incident, the spokesperson said.

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 began on Wednesday and will conclude on Sunday.

A spokesman of the Sports Council said all precautionary measures were in place to ensure safety of the players. — (PTI)