ISLAMABAD - Despite all kinds of operational problems, troops and foreign experts continued search-and-rescue efforts for 139 soldiers and their civilian aides who were buried under the snow in Gayari sector at Siachen on April 7. According to informed sources, there were no signs of survivors or bodies so far, still they were optimistic amid arrival of Chinese and Norwegian rescue teams.

Rescue work gained pace as weather got better Sunday and it also allowed teams of experts laced with latest equipment from many countries to reach the scene of the accident. According to ISPR, the search-and-rescue operation continued even in extremely cold conditions.

Earlier on Saturday, it said that a fresh slide at the site of old avalanche, created difficulties for troops devoted to conducting search and rescue. The situation has been compounded by mass of snow in which troops are working under low temperature, intermittent snowfall and piercing blizzards.

“However, concern for their brothers in arms under avalanche is driving troops to endure hardships of the weather and terrain to accomplish their task befittingly,” the ISPR said.

“The excavation work, therefore, is underway nonstop at its fullest speed, exploiting all available manual and mechanical resources, to dig as quickly as possible. In this regard, the search teams have commenced excavation at a new site as well with the help of plant equipment and infantry troops.”