Miracles happen! And the Army jawan who was found alive after remaining buried under 25 feet of snow for six days, is a living example of an amazing miracle.
Lance Naik Hanumanthappa was found in a critical condition after six days of rescue efforts on the Siachen glacier.
10 Army personnel including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of Army’s 19 Madras Regiment were stationed at an altitude of 19,600 feet on the Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir. On February 3, they were hit by a massive avalanche, and rescue operations have been on since then. The base was located on the Saltoro ridge, close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.
On February 4, a Defence Spokesperson had said that the hopes of finding anyone alive were “very remote”. And later, the Indian Army had declared them presumed dead.
After probable locations of the incident were identified by the rescue team with the help of specialised equipment, they had to cut through up to 40 feet of ice at multiple locations. Frequent snow blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility made the search operation very difficult.
Army teams have been sifting through huge mass of ice in the hazardous region where temperatures range between minus 42 and minus 25 degrees Celsius.
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“It was a miraculous rescue, all efforts are being made to evacuate Lance Naik Hanumanthappa to the RR hospital in the morning,” Lt Gen D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander, told PTI.
Five bodies have been recovered so far, and four of them have been identified.
“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 an Army spokesperson.
On Friday, the Ministry of Defence had released the names of all 10 soldiers who were hit by the avalanche:
1. Subedar Nagesha TT – village Tejur, Hassan district, Karnataka.
2. Havildar Elumalai M – village Dukkam Parai, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu.
3. Lance Havildar S Kumar – village Kumanan Thozhu, Teni district, Tamil Nadu.
4. Lance Naik Sudheesh B – village Monroethuruth, Kollam district, Kerala.
5. Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad – village Betadur, Dharwad district, Karnataka.
6. Sepoy Mahesha PN – village HD Kote, Mysore district, Karnataka.
7. Sepoy Ganesan G – village Chokkathevan Patti, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu.
8. Sepoy Rama Moorthy N – village Gudisatana Palli, Krishna Giri district, Tamil Nadu.
9. Sep Mustaq Ahmed S – village Parnapalle, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh.
10. Sepoy Nursing Assistant Suryawanshi SV – village Maskarwadi, Satara district, Maharashtra
The survivor is a resident of Betadur village in Dharwad district of Karnataka.
“We are happy. The entire village is happy and relieved. We were eagerly waiting for some news for past few days. It was difficult to even believe that he was saved. Now, we need everyone to pray for his survival,” his uncle told The News Minute.