Pakistani soldiers, backed by helicopters and sniffer dogs, are searching for 135 people buried after an avalanche struck a military post in the Siachen glacier region in the Himalayas.
The avalanche hit the base at Gayari yesterday and covered a 1 square kilometer (0.4 square mile) area, the army said in a statement on its website. Heavy machinery is being airlifted to the site to help with rescue efforts, it said.
One hundred and twenty-four soldiers and 11 civilians working for the military were buried in the snow slide, the army said. “The battalion headquarters has been situated at the same place for the last 20 years and no incident of this nature has happened,” it said.
The Siachen glacier is known as the highest militarized zone in the world. India sent troops to the 75-kilometer (47-mile) glacier that reaches an altitude of 6,300 meters (20,670 feet), in 1984 and Pakistan responded with its own deployment.
While a cease-fire has been observed since 2003, talks have failed to agree on the location of a boundary along the glacier.