Indian soldier found alive six days after avalanche in Siachen


An Indian soldier was extracted alive after being buried under 25 feet of snow for six days following the February 3 avalanche, The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

“Lance Naik Hanamanthappa has been found alive. He is critical but all attempts are being made to evacuate him to RR hospital in the morning. We hope the miracle continues. Pray with us,” said Lt Gen D.S. Hooda, Army Commander, Northern Command.

Ten Indian soldiers were buried in an avalanche on the Siachen glacier in India-held Kashmir last week at an altitude of 19,600 feet. Five bodies have been recovered while four have been located using equipment and dogs.

Although rescue efforts are on to extract them, there is a chance of brand new avalanches as the ice and snow in the area is still loose and unstable.

“The teams are working round the clock and observing all precautions since the unstable ice and snow in the region could trigger fresh avalanches. Rescue efforts will continue till all our soldiers are found,” said the spokesman.

The avalanche was caused when an ice wall collapsed on a prefabricated outpost building.

The Siachen glacier lies right on the Line of Control (LOC), and is claimed by both Pakistan and India. Indian troops are stationed on the upper part of the glacier and Pakistani troops on the lower part.

Although a ceasefire has been in place since 2003, the glacier is the highest battlefield in the world and is considered an important strategic position by both countries.

Avalanches have become more frequent due to climate change and fluctuating temperatures warming the ice unevenly. Last week’s avalanche was the second this year.