SRINAGAR: Six days after 10 soldiers were buried under snow after a massive avalanche hit an Army post on the Siachen glacier, rescue teams on Monday recovered the body of one of the soldiers but didn’t identify him.
“After intense and exhausting search operations, rescue parties of the Army have hit the camp site and recovered the mortal remains of one martyr,” the Army’s Northern Command spokesman Colonel S D Goswami told Express.
The Army’s specialised teams and the Indian Air Force launched the rescue operations after nine soldiers and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) belonging to the Madras Regiment manning a post located at an altitude of 19,600 feet in the Northern Glacier sector in Ladakh were buried under snow after their post was hit by a massive avalanche in the early hours of February 3.
The soldiers hail from south India – four from Tamil Nadu, three from Karnataka, one each from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and the other from Maharashtra.
Goswami said a new camp had been established at the site of the avalanche to coordinate the rescue efforts.
“Probable locations are being identified by using specialised equipment,” he said, adding that frequent blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility and the effects of a rarefied atmosphere hampered the rescue efforts. The Army officer said the rescue teams were working round the clock and observing all precautions as there are apprehensions that the unstable ice and snow in the region could trigger fresh avalanches.
Goswami said the rescue efforts would continue till bodies of all soldiers buried in the snow were recovered. “The rescue efforts continue in the night as well,” he said.
The soldiers trapped under snow have been identified as Subedar Nagesha, Sepoy Mahesha P N and Lance Naik Hanamanthappa (Karnataka); Havildar Elumalai, Sepoy Rama Moorthy N, Lance Havildar S Kumar and Sepoy Ganesan G (Tamil Nadu); Lance Naik Sudheesh B (Kerala); Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed (Andhra Pradesh) and Sepoy Nursing Assistant Suryawanshi (Maharashtra).
The February 3 avalanche was the second one to hit soldiers on the Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield, this year.