Six soldiers were killed and one went missing after an avalanche struck the Siachen Glacier area in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
Six personnel of the 1st Assam Regiment, deployed in the Hanif sub-sector in Siachen Glacier area, died when the avalanche hit at 6.13 am, Army spokesperson Lt Col
J S Brar said in Srinagar. One soldier is still missing and efforts are being made to locate him, he added. “The incident happened during inter-post movement of the soldiers,” he said.
Brar said the operation to trace the missing soldier will resume on Monday after it was called off on Sunday due to bad weather. “Avalanche rescue teams are already deployed at the site. The moment weather clears up, we will launch the rescue operation again,” he added.
This is the first time in several years that an avalanche has hit an Indian position in the glacier area, Army sources said. The Assam unit is part of the 102 Siachen Brigade and is located at altitudes of about 15,000-16,000 feet, they said.
An avalanche had hit a Pakistani Army camp in the glacier area in April killing about 130 soldiers. After the tragedy, Pakistan had been keen to demilitarise Siachen. However, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh had made it clear that the military would not like to move out of the “strategically important” icy heights for which “lot of blood has been shed”.
However, the Army has brought down casualties to a large extent by ensuring proper adaptation of the personnel to the conditions and through extensive scientific research by DRDO to improve living conditions of troops there.