‘Miracle rescue’ of avalanche soldier

An Indian Army truck travels towards the avalanche site, in Tangmarg on February 8, 2010.Image copyright

Image caption

The surviving Indian soldier survived some of the harshest weather conditions in the world for several days

An Indian soldier who was buried after an avalanche struck the Siachen glacier in Indian-administered Kashmir six days ago has been found alive, military officials have said.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was buried under 8m of snow at a height of nearly 6,000m on the Siachen glacier along with nine other soldiers who all died.

The army says he is critically ill ahead of his evacuation on Tuesday.

“We hope the miracle continues. Pray with us,” an army statement said.

The avalanche hit a military post on the northern side of the glacier.

Image copyright
Indian army

Image caption

An Indian army handout image showed the area of avalanche

Senior military officials said at the time there was little chance of finding any of the soldiers alive after the incident last Wednesday.

Siachen is patrolled by troops from both India and Pakistan, who dispute the region’s sovereignty.

It is known as the world’s highest battlefield. Four Indian soldiers were killed by an avalanche in the same area last month.

The soldiers were on duty at an army post on the glacier at an altitude of 5,900m (19,350ft) when the avalanche struck.

Specialist army and air force teams immediately began searching for the missing soldiers close to the Line of Control that divides Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

The chances of any soldiers been found alive were so slim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi even offered condolences in a message on Twitter last week.

Avalanches and landslides are commonplace in the area during winter where temperatures can drop -60C (-76F).

More soldiers have died from harsh weather on the glacier than in combat since India seized control of it in 1984. Soldiers have been deployed at heights of up to 6,700m (22,000ft) above sea level.

The neighbours have failed to demilitarise the Siachen glacier despite several rounds of peace talks.

comments powered by Disqus