Search for missing French paraglider continues in northern Pakistan

Islamabad, July 4 (EFE).- Search and rescue operations continued on Monday to find French paraglider Savall Xavier Francois, who went missing after a take off from a peak in Duikar village in northern Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region during the weekend.

Two Spanish paragliders, Jaume Duran Alert and Oriol Fernandez Perez, who took off with Francois on Saturday, however, landed safely in Ganish valley.

“The (French) pilot went missing soon after he took a flight from a peak around 4pm,” Karrar Haidri, secretary Alpine Club of Pakistan, said in a statement on Monday.

A search and rescue operation is underway with the help of an Army helicopter and local volunteers to locate the missing paraglider.

“Mobile units of tourist police, rescuers from 1122 Rescue service and an army helicopter are taking part in the search which is continuing today,” Muhammed Ali, a spokesman for Gilgit-Baltistan Tourist Police told EFE.

The French embassy in Islamabad said it was following the developments.

“We are actively following this issue but we do not have anything for the press to share,” French embassy spokesperson Nosheen Sajid told EFE.

Haidri further said the paragliders reportedly arrived in Hunza late last month and were staying at a local hotel.

No other information was available on when the Spanish paragliders would be returing to Islamabad or to Spain.

Pakistan’s sparsely populated Gilgit-Baltistan region is home to some of the top peaks of the world and is an attractive tourist destination.

A large number of local and international tourists visit the region each year for expeditions on various peaks and take part in paragliding and other adventure sports. EFE


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