Six people including four soldiers and two porters killed as an avalanche hit the Siachen Glacier in Ladakh on Monday, two more army personnel are feared to be trapped under the snow. The incident took place at 3 pm. The Indian Army is conducting a massive search and rescue operation since then to locate and rescue the trapped soldiers.
The Army personnel hit by the avalanche were part of a patrolling party consisting of eight persons and were in the northern glacier when the incident happened. The soldiers continue to be trapped at Northern Siachen Glacier.
About 35 years after it was closed down for civilians, Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battlefield, was declared open for tourists by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last month.
Siachen, the icy heights in the Karakoram mountain range, used to be an unmilitarised zone before 1984 and mountaineering expeditions would be allowed by India.
However, Pakistan, in early 1980s, also started sending expeditions there, triggering alarm in India that it could be a ploy to capture the strategically important region. Wary of Pakistani misadventure, India rushed its troops in 1984 under 'Operation Meghdoot' and has ever since maintained strategic control of the glacier.
Subsequently, the area was prohibited for civilians.