Horrifying footage shows a wall of snow roaring down a mountainside and towards the group of skiers, sending them running for safety
Horrifying footage shows a wall of snow roaring down a mountainside and towards the group of skiers, sending them running for safety
This is the terrifying moment an avalanche swept through a Himalayan ski resort in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing two Polish skiers and burying 21 others under piles of snow.

Horrifying footage shows a wall of snow roaring down from the 14,400ft peak of Mount Apharwat and towards the group of skiers, sending them running for safety.

But a total of 21 foreign tourists and their two Kashmiri guides were caught in the massive avalanche and buried under the snow as they were skiing high in the mountains near the tourist resort town of Gulmarg, local police said.

High-altitude rescue teams rushed to the site on snow scooters and retrieved the bodies of the two Polish skiers, police officer Amod Nagpuri said.



Police said 19 foreign tourists and the two local guides have been rescued, adding that the bodies of the two deceased skiers have been transported to a hospital.

'During the rescue ops, 19 foreign nationals and 2 local guides have been rescued,' a police statement said. 'Unfortunately, 2 foreign nationals lost their lives in the avalanche, and their dead bodies have also been recovered.'

The rescued skiers were being treated at a nearby clinic. Authorities have yet to disclose their nationalities.

The skiers were hit by the avalanche in the Affarwat area of Gulmarg, Kumar said, days after heavy snowfall in the hills of Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region claimed in full by both India and Pakistan.

Video shows the huge avalanche barrelling down the mountainside towards the group of skiers, as many of them shout warnings to each other.

As the wall of snow comes hurtling closer and closer, the group can be seen trying to run away before the video cuts out.

Deepak Chinchore, an All India Committee member who witnessed the avalanche, told PTI: 'We saw the dance of death before our eyes. A 20ft wall of ice fell on the skiers and they got buried under it. It's all about nature's fury.'

A cable car that transports visitors to the top of Mount Apharwat was closed after the avalanche hit.

Gulmarg attracts tens of thousands of tourists and ski enthusiasts all through the year. The resort is currently coated in several feet of snow after days of continuous snowfall.

The Pir Panjal 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 militarised 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.

The area is heavily militarised, with Indian security forces permanently stationed there owing to its close proximity to the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.