Srinagar, 1st February
Two Polish tourists were killed and 21 skiers rescued from slopes declared a ‘no-go zone’ after a massive avalanche hit the upper reaches of the Jammu and Kashmir ski resort Gulmarg. They were stopped, police said.
Gulmarg #avalanche Rs countryside@AbbasWani_ pic.twitter.com/S4QSXBPmur
— Ahmad Wani (@D3func7) February 1, 2023
scared #avalanche of #gulmarg Some skiers believed to be trapped
That avalanche comes from the Hapas Kood side
Casualties have also been reported 🙏🏻#baramura #Kashmir pic.twitter.com/TPVQL6aM3Q
— Weatherman Shubham (@shubhamtorres09) February 1, 2023
The Hapathood Kandri district, where the accident occurred, had been declared off-limits due to a possible avalanche following heavy snowfall two days ago, sources said.
At 12:30pm, these fears came true when a huge wall of snow collapsed, trapping a group of mostly Polish and Russian tourists and two local guides.
“Three teams of 21 foreigners and two local guides went to Afarwat for skiing this morning.At around 12:30 pm, an avalanche hit Hapatkud Kandri,” police said. Chief Superintendent Amod Nagpule told the PTI.
Asked if there was an avalanche warning in the area where the accident occurred, Nagpure said an investigation had been ordered.
Twenty-one other people on the slopes were rescued when the avalanche struck, but two skiers died, he said.
The deceased have been identified as Krzyslutov (43) and Adam Guzhev (45).
Their bodies were recovered and transferred to hospitals for medical procedures, and rescued tourists and locals are being treated, he said.
Several people have seen the tragedy unfold.
“We saw the dance of death in front of us. A 20-foot wall of ice fell over the skiers and they were buried under it. All due to the forces of nature.” , Deepak Chinchorre, a member of the All India Conference Committee for Karnataka, who happened to be there, Spot told PTI.
Officials said a cable car carrying tourists to the 14,000-foot Afarwat mountain was used in the rescue operation.
A video of the avalanche showing people running for their lives went viral on social media.
According to police, the Russians rescued today have been identified as Ekaterina, Maxim, Vladimir, Vasily, Engine, Leo, Nikita Mastryukov and Anna Chornyak.
The Polish nationals were Rafat Kakmalen, Narsin Wyclex, Eukas Potacewuk, Tukasz Pasek, Katajina Filip, Marcin Laczyk, Barteomie Škopf, Bartosz Dmagata, Adrian Anilous and Macy Kowalczyk.
In addition, three guides, Bartos from Poland and two locals, Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, were also rescued.
Avalanches are frequent in the highlands of Kashmir, especially in January and February after fresh snowfall.
Heavy snow fell in Kashmir on January 29th and 30th.
The last major avalanche in Gulmarg was on February 8, 2010, killing 17 soldiers in an army camp.
#jammu #kashmir #srinagar