Gulmarg Gondola claims 7 lives in tragic accident.
Gulmarg, Kashmir | 25 June, 2017 | Paul Lalley
We are sad to report that on Sunday 25 June 2017, a tragic accident occurred at the Gulmarg Gondola resulting in the passing of 4 Indian tourists and 3 local Kashmiris.
Official reports state that an enormous pine tree was uprooted by a gust of wind and breaking the perspex windows on one of the Gulmarg Gondola cabins, causing it to swing violently and its 7 occupants to fall 100 feet to the ground. During the winter ski season, heavy winds typically result in the closure of the gondola.
Recent reports also indicated that the event was an “Act of God”, and this is one way of putting it. Unfortunately, from our experience, the old growth forests are in need of a serious arborist to control the bushes so to speak, with huge pines coming within feet of the Gulmarg Gondola’s path. Furthermore, Gulmarg witnessed a huge windstorm in 2012 that decimated the local forests, uprooting many shallow rooted old growth pines, which you can read about here. Fortunately, this event did not result in any causalities in Gulmarg. This is perhaps an early warning regarding forestry mismanagement.
The K-Line team is in close contact with our local guides, who have been assisting in rescue operations on site in Gulmarg. We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased locals, who are from the Chounti Pathri village in Baba Reshi near Gulmarg, as well as to the tourists who passed away in the incident.
To get you up to speed, the Gulmarg Gondola rises to almost 4000m above sea level and is the second highest in the world. It is also the highest skiable gondola in the world and is the centrepiece of Gulmarg Ski Resort, the only ski resort in the Himalayas. This is the first major accident to occur since the Gulmarg Gondola was first opened for operations 18 years ago.
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