Russian paraglider killed in Himachal, one still missing


Shimla: Five days after Russian paraglider Alexey Ashurov went missing in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, his compatriot was found dead Tuesday, police said.

Support TwoCircles

“This (Tuesday) evening, we came to know that Russian pilot Elliyayudin died in the remote Tang area in Kangra district,” Kangra’s Superintendent of Police Atul Kumar Fulzele told IANS.

He said one injured pilot, identified as Tenis Soyawa, was rescued from the hills.

“The injured paraglider was rescued from the spot where the body of Elliyayudin was recovered,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials of the Russian embassy in Delhi Tuesday approached Indian authorities to help locating Ashurov.

“We approached the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Tuesday to help in locating Alexey Ashurov, who has been missing for the past five days in the hills of Himachal Pradesh,” an embassy official told IANS over phone.

The official, who refused to identify himself as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the embassy sent a communication to the MEA to ask the authorities concerned to help in tracing the 41-year-old paraglider.

Ashurov took off from Billing, some 80 km from the district headquarters town of Kangra, for Bir and lost his way due to strong winds and went missing Oct 23.

His friends lodged a complaint with police Monday.

Fulzele said that rescue teams have been despatched to locate the paraglider.

“One team of trekkers has been sent to the tribal Holi area in Chamba district where we have reports that he might have landed,” he said.

Earlier, another Russian paraglider, Dimitri, was reported missing in the high mountains and was rescued Monday from an altitude of more than 3,000 metres.

Bir-Billing is considered one of the finest aero sports sites in the world.

The Himachal Pradesh Tourism and Civil Aviation Department (HPTCAD), the organiser of the annual pre-world cup paragliding championship at Bir-Billing, has decided not to hold the meet this year as it is refurbishing the site.

A local association, Billing Paragliding Association, has decided to hold the meet on its own.

A large number of dare-devils, especially from Russia, Britain and the US, have converged on the site for practising paragliding.

The HPTCAD has already said the local association is not following proper safety measures and is not registered with it.

An official spokesman for the HPTCAD said the Aero Club of India, the regulating body of paragliding sports, has also not allowed the association to hold the event.

“Holding of paragliding events at Bir-Billing is illegal. We will take action against the organisers of the event,” the spokesman said.

However, Billing Paragliding Association president Suresh Thakur has claimed that France-based Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA) has given the permission to the association to conduct the championship.

The PWCA gives permission to the associations across the world to conduct the championship.