Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad passes away, nation pays tribute; last rites today

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad passed away at the Army's Research and Referral hospital in New Delhi

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | New Delhi | Updated: February 12, 2016 7:41 am
siachen, hanamanthappa koppad, hanumanthappa koppad, siachen glacier, lance naik, siachen avalanche, siachen survivor, siachen soldier, siachen tragedy, Indian Army Siachen soldier Lance Naik Hanamanthapp, passed away at the Delhi’s Research and Referral hospital

Three days after he was rescued after being buried in ice and snow for six days in Siachen Glacier, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad died at the Army Research and Referral (RR) Hospital in Delhi on Thursday.

An Army statement said he died at 11.45 am. He had multiple organ failure. His family members were at the hospital at the time, sources said. His remains were flown to Hubli in Karnataka. The last rites will take place on Friday.

Koppad was the lone survivor among 10 soldiers buried by an avalanche on Siachen on February 3. Bodies of the other soldiers were recovered on Tuesday.

Read: Death (and some glory) at 20,000 ft

A health bulletin issued by the hospital had earlier said that the 33-year-old’s condition was deteriorating and he was not responding to medication. Sources said his blood pressure was fluctuating below normal despite all attempts. On Thursday morning, an Army statement said Koppad had slipped into a “deeper state of coma”.

Also read: Koppad served 10 out of 13 years in challenging areas

Having survived temperatures of minus 45 degrees Celsius 35 feet below snow, at approximately 19,600 feet on the world’s highest battlefield, damages sustained started surfacing when his blood circulation improved following medication. Kept on ventilator, Koppad was diagnosed with pneumonia. On Wednesday, a team of doctors from AIIMS had visited the Army Hospital.

He was put on dialysis and his parameters continued dipping, the Army said. The oxygen level in his body was significantly low, and urea and creatinine levels had shot up.

The Army statement issued on Thursday morning read: “Braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa continues to remain extremely critical with worsening multiple organ dysfunction. His circulatory shock is now refractory to all drugs in maximum permissible doses and his kidneys remain non-functional. His pneumonia has worsened and the blood clotting disorder shows no sign of reversal despite blood component support. He is on maximal clotting disorder (but) shows no sign of reversal despite blood component support. He is on maximal life support with aggressive ventilation and dialysis. He has slipped into a deeper state of coma.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter that Koppad ‘leaves us sad and devastated.’

“The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India,” the PM added.

(You can post your tributes to the soldier in the comment box below)

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Condoling the Lance Naik’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India.” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar tweeted, “Condolences to family of L/Nk Hanamanthappa on his passing away. The Nation salutes him.”

PHOTOS: The 10 soldiers who lost their lives in the Siachen avalanche

In his message, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh said, “The soldier in him will continue to inspire generations.”

Parrikar, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the three service chiefs paid homage to Koppad at Brar Square in Delhi Cantonment on Thursday evening.

VIDEO: How Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad was rescued