SRINAGAR, INDIA – Officials say 10 Indian soldiers are feared dead after an avalanche hit a military post on the Siachen Glacier in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the families of the soldiers on Twitter Thursday night.
The avalanche hit the military post on Wednesday in the northern part of the glacier, trapping the soldiers under a mass of snow.
Since then, army and air force teams have been searching for the soldiers, army spokesman Col. S.D. Goswami said. He said the chances of finding survivors are “very remote.”
The army is yet to retrieve their bodies.
Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both.
The two nations also dispute their undemarcated border through the Siachen Glacier at an elevation of nearly 19,000 feet (5,800 meters).
Thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops are stationed in the freezing Himalayan terrain, where more troops have died from the grueling conditions than from hostile fire.
Last month, four Indian soldiers on foot patrol were killed by an avalanche in the same region.
In 2012, an avalanche in the Pakistan-controlled part of the glacier killed 140 people, including 129 soldiers.
The two countries have discussed ways to demilitarize the Siachen Glacier, without success.