GUWAHATI: Seven Army personnel, who got trapped in an avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday, lost their lives. Confirming it, Assam’s Tezpur-based defence spokesman Lt Colonel Harsh Wardhan Pande said the bodies of the victims had been retrieved.
The personnel were part of a patrol group. The incident occurred in the high altitude area of Kameng sector in Tawang in the frontier state. The area, located at an altitude of 14,500 feet, had witnessed inclement weather with heavy snowfall.
The search and rescue operations, including airlifting of specialised teams by the army, were launched immediately after the incident. “The search and rescue operations have now been concluded. Bodies of all seven individuals have been recovered from the avalanche site. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, all seven have been confirmed deceased,” the defence spokesman said.
The army, air force and police personnel were involved in the search and rescue operations. When reports last came in, the bodies were being moved from the avalanche site to the nearest army medical facility for further formalities.
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra and Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed shock over the loss of the soldiers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, among other leaders condoled the deaths.