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3 French heli-skiers missing in Kashmir
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | March 17, 2007 00:46 IST
Three chopper-borne French heli-skiers have gone missing in north Kashmir Gund mountain range Friday.
The group led by world famous Swiss borne French heli-skier, Sylvan Sudan left summer capital Srinagar on Friday morning for skiing on the famous Gund slopes near the mountain resort of Sonamarg.
The chopper lost contact with ground control this morning and has since been missing.
The police said a private helicopter carrying Sudan, Daine Schlegel, Julien Escoubas and pilot Lucyan, all French nationals went missing while flying over the north Kashmir mountain range.
A rescue team of Jammu and Kashmir police supported by chopper-borne personnel of the Indian Air force has been trying to locate the missing helicopter.
"So far we have drawn a blank. Heavy ground snow in the area and the fast spreading darkness has halted our rescue efforts, which will now be resumed on Saturday morning," a senior police officer told rediff.com.
Gund slopes in north Kashmir are famous for heli-skiing and Sudan had been bringing in groups of heli-skiers from Europe each winter since 1988 despite the ongoing violence in Kashmir.
Sylvan Sudan and a group of ten foreign heli-skiers had a miraculous escape when the Jammu and Kashmir government owned helicopter carrying them for skiing crashed in the same mountain range on March 13, 1999.