An Indian soldier is found alive after an avalanche struck the Siachen Glacier. After six days, he was finally pulled out alive. The army, following rigorous search, declared all the soldiers in the post as dead.
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was one of the 10 Indian soldiers who were feared dead. He was found buried under 8 meters of snow at the height of around 6000 meters. However, the army in its statement said that he was critically ill. The statement said, “We hope the miracle continues. Pray with us.”
Lieutenant General SK Patyal commented, “Recovering the soldier is nothing short of a miracle. A wall of snow as thick and hard as concrete had fallen on them”.
He informed that the operation was difficult as the rescue team could not work more than 30 minutes at a time. The army after the initial failure of the search team lost all hope of finding anyone dead or alive.
Even the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of the soldiers on Twitter.
Five bodies were also dug out after an intense search at the height of 20,000 feet. Because of the height the rescue team found it difficult to breathe, let alone dig. The rescue operation also involved heavy equipments and assembling them in that height was another herculean task achieved by the army. Because of the hard snow the dogs also faced difficulty. The visibility was also very low in that area.
General D.S. Hooda from the army’s northern command said, “In the ongoing rescue operation at Siachen, of the ten soldiers buried … has been found alive.”
He further stated, “all other soldiers are regrettably no longer with us.”
Siachen is the world’s highest battlefield in the Kashmir region and both India and Pakistan lay claim to the area. Avalanche and landslides are not new to the region and an estimated number of 8000 troops have lost their lives in the glacier since 1984. Almost all of them were killed by avalanches, frostbites, altitude sickness, landslides and heart failure, reported The Telegraph.
Nevertheless, the family, as well as, the country was surprised and cheerful by the rescue of the Indian soldier.