Norwegian skier still missing, body of civilian recovered in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Apr 6 (UNI) There was still no trace of the Norwegian woman skier, missing from Gulmarg heights in north Kashmir since January this year while the body of a civilian buried under snow three months ago was recovered yesterday.

Francesca Rongne went missing when she was caught in snow storm on January 8 this year after the entire area experienced a heavy snowfall.

We could not recover the body of the skier even though the snow started melting on the slopes, official sources told UNI.

This is for the second time Rongne has gone missing in Gulmarg in the past two years. Last year she had a close encounter with death after she was caught in a snow storm but was later rescued from a cave in which she had taken shelter.

This year she was not so lucky as rescue teams from police, Army, High Altitude institute, tourism department and three members from Delhi-based Norway Embassy failed to locate her because of the heaviest snowfall in 20 years.

The area was very vast with mountains and difficult terrain, the sources said the adding the body would be recovered only when the entire snow melteds.

Ms Rongne had checked in a hotel on January 8 at 1430 hrs but left for skting only after 15 minutes of check-in, leaving behind her belongings in the hotel room. Later the management of the hotel lodged a missing report with the police and rescue operation was launched next day.

Sources said one Fareed Ahmad Khan, who was buried under a snow avalanche alongwith two other villagers Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and Guftar Ahmad Khan went missing at Dardpora Attarsu in Achabal area on January 16 when south Kashmir recorded more than 10 feet of snow.

However, Mushtaq was rescued alive while the body of Guftar was recovered the next day.

UNI BAS RC RK1500

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