Srinagar, Feb 16: A skiers from Russia was killed and four others were rescued on Friday after an avalanche struck at Affarwat area of Gulmarg, the world famous the tourist resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. Divisional Kashmir has sought a report from tourism officials as to how the skiers were allowed skiing amid a warning for avalanche by the SASE.
Official sources said that the incident occurred on Friday afternoon when the foreigner tourists were moving towards the Affarwat higher reaches of the Gulmarg for skiing.
Five tourists came under the avalanche and were immediately evacuated to nearby hospital by the rescuers where the Russain tourist namely Stanislav was declared brought dead.
The condition of the four injured tourists are said to be stable, they said.
On January 18 last, a Swedish tourist was killed at the ski-resort after snow avalanche swept him along with his colleague.
When contacted, divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan told news agency GNS that he sought a report from tourism officials as to how the tourists were allowed to proceed for skiing despite the warning. “Let the report come, action will be accordingly taken,” he added.
An official spokesman said the Russian group boarded the Gondola at around 11:30 am and came under the avalanche at 12 noon. The group had arrived at Delhi on 13 February and moved to Gulmarg on February 14.
“The skiers had also signed an indemnity bond that they would not go into the backcountry where avalanches occur on regular basis. However, the group still ventured into the area resulting in the tragic death of the skier,” the spokesman said.
To make the skiers aware about the avalanche-prone areas, the department, he said, is organizing Awareness Talk every Tuesday at 7 pm in which snow safety officer of the department Brian Newman provides them every information about the risks involved in certain areas. The awareness program receives good participation of the skiers especially foreigners. In order to propogate avalanche awareness, the department also puts Avalanche Talk live on its facebook. Besides, the department has also erected sign boards at different places at upper reaches of Gulmarg informing the skiers about the avalanche areas.
Meanwhile, Department of Tourism has expressed grief over the demise of the skier. (GNS)