Russian skier killed by avalanche in Gulmarg


Srinagar, Feb 16: A Russian skier died after being buried by an avalanche in a skiing resort in Jammu and Kashmir's Gulmarg, police said today.
Four others were rescued alive from the resort and taken to a local hospital for treatment, a police spokesman added. Identifying the deceased as Stanislav, a tourism department official, while expressing grief over the loss of life, said the group of tourists had ventured into the highly avalanche-prone zone despite a negative advisory being in place.
"The skier had ventured into the backcountry area where advisories were already issued.
The deceased was a part of group of five skiers who moved to Shinmai bowl despite strict instructions about the zones which are avalanche prone," he said. The official said the skiers had also signed an indemnity bond that they would not venture into the backcountry where avalanches occur on regular basis.
The department organises awareness talks every Tuesday at 7 pm, where Brian Newman, the department's snow safety officer, informs skiers about risks involved in certain areas, the official 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.

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