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Russian skier killed by avalanche in Gulmarg

A Russian skier died after being buried by an avalanche in Shinmai bowl in north Kashmir’s skiing resort of Gulmarg.

Four others were rescued alive from the resort and taken to a local hospital for treatment, a police spokesman said.

Authorities had issued an avalanche warning for the higher reaches of Kashmir following fresh snowfall on Monday.

This is the second incident of an avalanche hitting foreign skiers at Gulmarg this year.

On January 18, a Swedish skier was killed when he was hit by an avalanche.

Meanwhile, Tourism department while expressing grief over the skier’s death said they had ventured into the back-country area despite avalanche advisories

The deceased skier identified as Stanislav from Russia, was a part of group of five skiers who moved to Shinmai bowl despite strict instructions by the department about the zones which are avalanche-prone, an official press release said.

It said the Russian group boarded the Gondola at around 11:30 am today and came under avalanche at 12 noon. The group had arrived at Delhi on 13 February and moved to Gulmarg on 14 February, 2018.

“The skiers had also signed an indemnity bond that they would not go into back-country where avalanches occur on regular basis. However, the group still ventured into the area resulting in the tragic death of the skier,” the press release said.

It said in order to make the skiers aware about the avalanche-prone areas, the department is organising awareness talk every at 7 pm every Tuesday in which snow safety officer of the department Brian Newman provides skiers 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 signboards at different places at upper reaches of Gulmarg informing the skiers about the avalanche areas,” the oppress release informed .

Tourism Minister Tassaduq Mufti also expressed grief over the skier’s death and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family, the release said.

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