Pakistani soldiers, tied to each other for safety in hostile weather conditions, carry their weapons some time in June 1999 as they cross a snowy field on the Siachen Glacier in Pakistan.
Pakistani soldiers, tied to each other for safety in hostile weather conditions, carry their weapons some time in June 1999 as they cross a snowy field on the Siachen Glacier in Pakistan.

Pakistani rescue teams are planning to dig a 130 ft tunnel at the site of the base camp in Siachen Glacier where 138 people, including soldiers and civilians were buried in an avalanche on Saturday morning.

The avalanche hit the Pakistani battalion headquarters in Gayari on the glacier and the soldiers were buried under 70 feet of snow.

The camp was located at an altitude of 15,000ft (4,572 m) and Saturday's avalanche covered an area of 1 sq km (0.39 sq m).

Though the Pakistani military immediately launched large scale search operations with the help of hundreds of soldiers, military helicopters, sniffer dogs, bulldozers, engineers and medical teams, it could not find any survivors.

As the rescue mission entered the fifth day, search teams are now concentrating on six priority points on the site around 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) up in the mountains.

"Work will start on a 130-foot-long horizontal tunnel with a diameter of three meters to attain access to the accommodation area," the military said in a statement.

The army also released photos of 94 of the 127 military personnel missing in the avalanche.

Over 450 rescue workers are on the search mission at the sub- zero temperatures to find any survivors though hopes are fading away with every passing day.

Mechanical excavators are being used to dig into the military base from different angles, the AFP has reported quoting the Pakistan military officials.

The trapped soldiers are from the 6th Northern Light Infantry headquarters.

The Siachen glacier is the northern part of Kashmir where India and Pakistan have military bases. The high altitude of the terrain and harsh weather has made it the most expensive and highest battle ground in the world.

India and Pakistan have fought two out of the three wars since 1947 over the Sicahen glacier. Thousands of soldiers from both countries are deployed in the treacherous region to prevent incursions from both sides.

Soldiers are deployed at altitudes of up to 22,000 ft (6,700 m) and the combined strength of the military personnel from India and Pakistan are believed to be in the range of 10,000 to 20,000.

he Siachen glacier experiences an average winter snowfall of 35 feet and the temperature plunges as low as minus fifty degrees, sometimes even to minus 70 degrees.