Siachen avalanche: Chances of finding any survivor remote, defence ministry says

A day after 10 soldiers went missing after an avalanche hit their post in Siachen, the defence ministry on Thursday said that the chances of finding any survivors were remote.

“With deepest regret we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are very remote,” defence ministry spokesperson said.

“Specialised equipment was flown in to Leh on Friday morning to further boost the rescue efforts,” the spokesperson said.

A junior commissioned officer (JCO) and nine other soldiers went missing when an avalanche hit their post in the northern part of the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region on Wednesday morning.

The 10 soldiers from the Madras Regiment were deployed at the section-level post at an altitude of 19,600-feet on the Northern Glacier when the freak accident took place.

“The alarm was sounded when radio communication with the post was lost after it got buried under the avalanche,” said an officer.

The Northern Glacier has some of the most treacherous terrain in the forbidding heights of the region, which go up to almost 22,000-feet at the famous Bana post held by Indian troops.
Over 900 Indian soldiers have died in the region since April 1984 when India’s ‘Operation Meghdhoot’ pre-empted Pakistan’s ‘Operation Ababeel’ to occupy the heights by a whisker.

Around three-fourths of the casualties have been caused by the severe climatic conditions, with temperatures sometimes even dipping to minus 60 degree Celsius.

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