10 Indian soldiers missing after Siachen avalanche

The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post on a glacier at an altitude of 5,800 metres, Colonel S D Goswami said


Afp February 04, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

SRINAGAR:


Rescuers searched Wednesday for 10 Indian soldiers feared buried in an avalanche in Siachen, an army spokesman said.


The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post on a glacier at an altitude of 5,800 metres (19,000 feet), Colonel S D Goswami said.

“In the early hours of today, 10 soldiers were hit by an avalanche at the northern Siachen Glacier.” An army statement said the post was being manned by one junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck.

“Rescue operations by specialised teams from army and air force are underway to rescue the soldiers. The rescue operations are being closely monitored from Leh and Udhampur,” the statement added.

Avalanches and landslides are common at the Siachen Glacier during the winter and temperatures there can drop as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

In January four soldiers were killed by an avalanche, while last year another four died when their vehicle was buried under an avalanche near Leh, the main city in the high-altitude region known as Ladakh.

An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them from avalanches, landslides, frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2016.

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