SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Two Polish skiers died in an avalanche at a Himalayan ski resort in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday and 21 people were rescued, police said.
A total of 21 foreigners and their two Kashmiri guides were caught in a massive avalanche and buried under the snow as they were skiing high in the mountains near the tourist town of Gulmarg, according to a police statement.
The Pirpanjal mountain range in the western Himalayas is a popular skiing destination for both Indians and foreigners.
In 2010, at least 17 Indian soldiers were killed after an avalanche hit the Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg during a training session.
Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir and have caused heavy death tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the mountainous and forested militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals.
In 2017, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in three avalanches, and in 2012 a massive avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.