Seventh day into the rescue operation in Siachen, authorities are set to dig a 130-feet-long horizontal tunnel to access the buried headquarters. Meawhile, rescue work was expedited on Friday with the arrival of foreign teams.
The tunnel is intended to access the accommodation area of the buried battalion’s headquarters, military officials said while talking to The Express Tribune. Sniffer dogs will then be used to search for the buried victims.
Officials were optimistic about the tunnel, saying it will hopefully be completed in the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, access tracks had been improved by the army engineer’s corps and some infantry troops grouped in small teams were continuing search work along the fringes, according to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.
The search and rescue operation at Giari continues at full pace despite severe weather conditions, snowstorms and extremely low temperatures, the statement added.
An ISPR spokesperson said that the morale of the troops involved in the rescue operation is high and they are determined to dig out their comrades.
Low temperature, however, poses a serious challenge to the effectiveness of their equipment, he added.
Military officials, however, voiced hope that the operation will be expedited with the arrival of the three Swiss, six German and eight American experts and their special equipment.
The rescue operation is currently focused around six ‘priority points’ at the army’s battalion headquarters in Giari.
The sixth priority point was added on Thursday and the rescue teams had earlier focused on five.
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.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.