Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh on Tuesday visited soldier Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who was found alive under 25 feet of snow six days after an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier. Although rescue efforts were launched on the day of the incident, the army had earlier said that chances of finding ten missing soldiers were “very remote” and later said the jawans were dead, PTI reported.
The soldier who survived was put on a ventilator before he was sent to Delhi's Army Research & Referral Hospital. Six of his family members were flown to the capital as well. ANI reported officials from the R&R Hospital saying that he was in shock and comatose, though he was reportedly conscious when he was found. He is also severely dehydrated, hypothermic and hypoxic, and has pneumonia, according to the hospital's health bulletin. Remains of the nine other soldiers were also recovered.
A junior commissioned officer and nine other ranks of the Madras Regiment were buried after a wall of ice at least a kilometre wide and 600 metres high crashed down on their post. Temperatures at the glacier can hit levels as low as -40°C. At a height of 19,600 feet above sea level, the army post at Siachen glacier is the world’s highest. There have been more deaths of soldiers in Siachen as a result of extreme weather than from casualties in battle.