Siachen tragedy - Day 7: Foreign teams arrive to help avalanche rescuers

Low temperatures hampering the effectiveness of heavy machinery being used to dig through the mass of snow and ice.

Sumera Khan/afp April 13, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The rescue operation in Siachen entered its seventh day with the arrival of three Swiss, six German and eight American experts on Friday.

The search operation, undertaken to evacuate buried soldiers, gained momentum after German, Swiss and American experts reached the Gayari area, a military official administering the army operation said.

Other military officials, who provide updates about the rescue operation through a helpline, said that at present rescuers are set to dig a 130-foot tunnel into the snow and are mainly focusing on six ‘priority points’ where they believe the army's battalion headquarters was present in Gyari.

The rescue teams had earlier focused on five priority points and the sixth one was added on Thursday. More than 450 rescuers are working in sub-zero temperatures at the site, though experts have said there is virtually no chance of finding any survivors.

The officials while talking to The Express Tribune said that the rescue teams have managed to reach the accommodation area of the battalion’s building structure and are now trying to find the buried troops under the snow with the help of sniffer dogs.

One of the officers also added that the foreign rescuers have reached the Gayari sector by road, after travelling through long and difficult routes carrying special equipments. He appreciated the spirit of the foreign teams and said their arrival would help speed up the operation.

According to an official statement issued by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the search and rescue operation at Gayari is going on at top speed despite severe weather condition, snowstorms and low temperature.

Spokesman ISPR Major General Athar Abbas said that the spirit of troops busy in rescue operation is high and that they are determined to “dig out their valiant comrades from tones of snow.” He however added that the low temperature poses serious challenge to the effectiveness of the equipments being used in the operation.

"The spirit of troops busy in rescue operation is high, who are determined to dig out their valiant comrades from under tonnes of snow. The low temperature poses serious challenge to the effectiveness of plant equipment too," an ISPR press release said on Friday.

Disregarding difficulties posed by 145 feet high pile of snow in the vicinity and extreme cold at the bottom of excavation, the troops are attempting a horizontal tunnel at the base of main excavation site to access suspected location of a structure to reach out to survivors.

The access tracks have been improved. Some infantry troops grouped into small teams continued to be employed on the periphery for search work. The outflow of water channel remains the same.


Sahibzada Shabir | 9 years ago | Reply

Hopping for the best InshaAllah

Visibly Invisible | 9 years ago | Reply

@Faesal: Get over yourself. Just thank and be grateful for those who are helping especially the foreigners they absolutely have no obligation. And yes they do have the expertise and equipment otherwise they wouldn't be there.

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