New Delhi: In what can only be described as a miracle, one of the Indian Army soldiers trapped and buried under a sheet of ice at the Siachen Glacier was pulled out alive by Army rescuers.
The bodies of the other nine soldiers were also pulled out. The soldier who was found alive was identified as Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. The Udhampur-based Northern Command said he was being rushed to hospital and described his condition as critical.
The Army had to burrow through more than 35 feet of ice and snow before finding the soldier and nine other bodies.
The ten soldiers were buried under a wall of ice that collapsed on them at the icy glacier which is the world's highest and coldest battlefield. The very fact that a soldier was found alive at such icy depths after a few days is being described as a medical miracle.
However, the Northern Command confirmed the deaths of the other nine soldiers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier condoled the deaths of all the soldiers after authorities had virtually given up hope of finding them alive. However, the Army had persisted with its rescue efforts.
On February 3, a huge wall of frost and snow had crashed into the remote Siachen Glacier, smothering a vast area which also had an Army camp located on it in the southern side of the area. The post was being manned by a Junior Commissioned Office (JCO) and nine soldiers when the incident occurred. Among the victims four are from Tamil Nadu, three including the JCO from Karnataka and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra.
Earlier on Monday, Army rescuers including specialist high altitude teams retrieved the frozen body of one soldier after excavating a new site in their search for ten jawans buried by a deadly avalanche that swept through their post in Siachen glacier area at a height of 19,600 feet in eastern Ladakh last week.