Hope was fading fast for surviors buried under tonnes of ice after military rescuers were hampered by fresh snowfall in an increasingly desperate search for 139 people,mostly soldiers,buried in an avalanche in Siachen sector,close to the Indian border.
Almost 52 hours after the avalanche at the remote Battalion headquarters of the army in the Karakoram,rescuers were yet to come across any survivors or bodies. An eight-member team of US experts,which arrived in Pakistan from Afghanistan on Monday to help in the rescue efforts,was unable to travel to Gyari,the site of the accident,in the morning due to bad weather. The US Embassy spokesman said authorities were standing by to provide any assistance need by their Pakistani counterparts.
Daytime temperature dipped to minus 15 degrees Celsius following heavy snowfall in the region where the avalanche occurred Saturday,and rescuers were hampered by the extreme weather conditions. Officials said over 200 personnel were involved in the search for 139 people,including 124 soldiers,who were buried under when the avalanche slammed into a battalion headquarters at Gyari near Skardu.
Experts said the chances of finding survivors over 48 hours after the incident were slim.