No trace of Norwegian woman skier, embassy officials in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 13: There is still no trace of the Norwegian woman skier, missing since January 8 afternoon in snowbound Gulmarg heights, even as three Delhi-based Norway embassy officials arrived here to join the rescue operation.

''We have pressed into service all available resources to locate Francesca Rongne from Norway without any success,'' Director of Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah told the sources.

He expressed hope that the skier will be safe.

He confirmed that three officials of Delhi based Norway embassy arrived here yesterday.

The officials checked the hotel room in which she had stayed before leaving for skiing grounds in the Gulmarg heights, he said.

Mr Shah added that the officials took away all the belongings of the missing skier, including money and other things.

He said rescue teams from Army, High Altitude Warfare School, police and tourism have been rushed to different directions to locate her.

Helicopters were also pressed into service, but success still eludes, the DG tourism said adding the area, which witnessed five to six feet of snowfall, was very vast with big mountains and difficult terrain.

This is for the second that Francesca Rongne went missing in Gulmarg during the past two years. Last year she had a close encounter with death after she was caught in a snow storm but was rescued from a cave in which she had taken shelter after several days.

Official sources said she checked in a hotel on January 8 at 1430 hrs but left after 15 minutes for skiing, leaving behind her belongings in the hotel room. It looked like she was in a hurry, the sources said adding she did not disclose anything about where she was going.

The hotel management later lodged a missing report in the police station at Gulmarg on January 9 when she did not return following heavy snowfall on upper reaches.

A tourist from Australia said he saw her last when she was leaving the hotel in the afternoon of January 8. She said she was going for skiing and will return in the evening.

UNI

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