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Death toll feared to rise in Siachen avalanche

Islamabad, Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 8(ANI): The death toll in Siachen avalanche is feared to rise, Pakistan army has said.

Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas said 124 Pakistani soldiers and 11 civilians were missing, after 70 feet of snow engulfed a military camp near the Siachen Glacier.

Hundreds of troops, sniffer dogs and helicopters are involved in the rescue operation but the survivors have not yet been found, the BBC reports.

Major General Abbas had earlier described the avalanche as "very massive," before saying it was "too early" to say how many survived and how many bodies had been recovered.

He also warned it could take several days to complete the rescue operation, since temperatures at the site can plunge to minus 70 Celsius.

He added that the region is prone to be hit by avalanches although they typically occur in "forward bases" at higher altitude, where only 10 or 20 troops are located.

A previous avalanche in the area killed 24 Pakistani troops in 2010 which is believed to be the heaviest loss of life in such an incident until now. (ANI)


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