8 Apr 2012

Soldiers buried in Pakistan avalanche

9:03 am on 8 April 2012

The Pakistani military says there is no sign of survivors after a massive avalanche engulfed an army base high the Himalayas, burying 135 people, most of them soldiers.

An army spokesperson said the snow left by the avalanche was up to 25 metres deep over an area one kilometre wide.

The avalance struck at 6am near the near the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram mountain range, near Pakistan's border with India. The military camp is at an altitude of 4500 metres.

The spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, told the BBC some bodies have been recovered. It is not clear how many fatalities there have been.

Rescue teams have gone to the scene, including troops, helicopters and sniffer dogs.

Siachen is in the northern part of disputed Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan.

Forces from both countries, estimated to number between 10,000 and 20,000 troops combined, have faced off against each other in mountains above the Siachen glacier in the Karakoram range since 1984.

More soldiers have died from the harsh weather conditions there than in combat, the BBC reports.