An Army jawan, who was buried under 25 feet of snow following an avalanche in the Siachen glacier, was Monday miraculously found alive in a critical condition after six days of rescue efforts.
“It was a miraculous rescue, all efforts are being made to evacuate Lance Naik Hanaman Thappa to the RR hospital in the morning,” Lt Gen D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander, told PTI.
He said, “Five bodies have been recovered so far and four bodies have been identified. All other soldiers are regrettably no more with us.”
He hoped that Thappa, who hails form Karnataka, will beat the odds and recover.
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A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of Madras Regiment were buried after their post was hit by the avalanche at the altitude of 19,600 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan where the temperature was minus 45 degrees Celsius.
In the ongoing operation, the rescue teams have had to cut through up to 40 feet of ice at multiple locations after probable locations of the accident were identified by using specialised equipment, an Udhampur-based Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel S D Goswami had revealed earlier.
The operation has been hampered by frequent snow blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility apart from the effects of rarefied atmosphere at such high altitude.
The Army had earlier hinted that all the soldiers might be dead saying that “chances of finding any survivors are very remote” as temperatures range from a minimum of minus 42 degrees during night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day in the glaciated area.
(With inputs from PTI)