6 soldiers killed in Siachen avalanche
Six soldiers were killed in an avalanche which hit the Siachen glacier, the world's highest and coldest battlefield, on Sunday morning. Soldiers belonging to the 1 Assam Regiment were buried under the avalanche in the Turtuk area of the glacier.chandigarh Updated: Dec 16, 2012 20:19 IST
Six soldiers were killed in an avalanche which hit the Siachen glacier, the world's highest and coldest battlefield, on Sunday morning.
The army spokesman in Srinagar, Col JS Brar, said a group of soldiers belonging to the 1 Assam Regiment were buried under the avalanche in the Turtuk area of the glacier.
"At 6.15 am, our posts at a height of more than 17,000 ft came under the avalanche in Hanif sub-sector of Turtuk. Immediately, an operation was launched with the help of avalanche rescue teams and sniffer dogs," said Col Brar.
"Six jawans lost their lives. Their mortal remains have been recovered. One jawan is missing. The rescue work had to be halted due to adverse weather conditions," Col Brar said on Sunday evening.
Situated on the northern edge of Kashmir's Himalayas with the altitude going as high as 22,000 ft, the glacier has turned into a snow desert after continuous snowfall for the past week, making it prone to avalanches.
On April 7, at least 130 Pakistani soldiers were killed, besides 14 civilians, when a giant wall of snow crashed down on the battalion headquarters of the army's 6 Northern Light Infantry. The tragedy had prompted Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to question the rationale of the two countries keeping soldiers on the glacier.
As per figures provided by the army, one-third of the total army fatalities in the valley from January 2007 to March 2012 have been due to snow avalanches.