The army on Tuesday said the bodies of nine soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer, who were buried alive under an avalanche on the Siachen glacier have been recovered.
The 10 armymen were swept under the avalanche which hit their patrol at 20,500 feet altitude on the southern side of the Siachen glacier in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region on February 3.
“The search and rescue operation launched in Siachen to locate and retrieve the bodies of soldiers buried under more than 30 feet of snow and ice after the avalanche has been completed,” Colonel S.D. Goswami, spokesman of the army’s Udhampur-headquartered Northern Command, told IANS here.
“It is to the credit of the dogged determination of the rescue teams which worked under extreme conditions to extricate Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppada alive from under more than 30 feet of snow,” he said.
“Lance Naik Hanumanthappa has exhibited a superhuman feat by surviving for six days buried under snow. He has been evacuated by air to the Army Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi, for expert medical care,” Colonel Goswami added.
“It is with deep regret that we wish to confirm that mortal remains of the remaining nine martyrs, including a JCO, were also retrieved by the rescue teams,” the spokesman said. “The mortal remains, after due formalities, will be flown to their hometowns as soon as possible,” he added.
On February 5, the army released the names of all 10 armymen buried in the avalanche.
These were: Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, resident of village Betadur, Dharwad district, Karnataka; Subedar Nagesha TT, resident of village Tejur, Hassan district, Karnataka; Havaldar Elum Alai M., resident of village Dukkam Parai, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu; Lance Havildar S. Kumar, resident of village Kumanan Thozhu, Teni district, Tamil Nadu; Lance Naik Sudheesh B., resident of village Monroethuruth, Kollam district, Kerala; Sepoy Mahesha P.N., resident of village HD Kote, Mysore district, Karnataka; Sepoy Ganesan G., resident of village Chokkathevan Patti, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu; Sepoy Rama Moorthy N., resident of village Gudisa tana Palli, Krishna Giri district, Tamil Nadu; Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed S., resident of village Parnapalle, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh; and Sepoy (Nursing Assistant) Suryawanshi S.V., resident of village Maskarwadi, Satara district, Maharashtra.”