The Indian Army on Tuesday said that seven of its soldiers who were hit by an avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday have died, ANI reported. Their bodies have been retrieved from the site.
The seven soldiers were part of a patrol team in the high-altitude Kameng sector. On Monday, specialised teams had been airlifted to the location for a search and rescue operation.
The Army said that the operation has concluded and “bodies of all seven individuals have been recovered,” The Indian Express reported. “[...]despite the best efforts of everyone involved, all seven have been confirmed deceased.”
The Kameng sector, located at an altitude of 14,500 feet, had been witnessing inclement weather with heavy snowfall over the last few days.
“The bodies of the soldiers are currently being transferred from the avalanche site to the nearest Army medical facility for further formalities,” the Army said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered condolences to the deceased soldiers’ families.
“Deeply saddened to know about the unfortunate demise of our seven brave jawans in the line of duty in the snowstorm in Arunachal Pradesh,” she said in a tweet. “Our jawans are selflessly striving for our safety and security. My salute to the jawans.”