The soldier who was rescued from the Siachen glacier six days after an avalanche died on Thursday. NDTV had reported earlier that Lance Naik Hanumanthappa's condition was extremely critical and that his pneumonia had worsened. The army jawan slipped into a deeper coma on Thursday. He was on dialysis as his kidneys remained non-functional, and blood clotting showed no signs of reversal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his passing, saying he was proud that martyrs like him served India.
Army chief General Dalbir Singh also condoled his death and said he would continue to inspire future generations. Hanumanthappa's rescue from Siachen on Tuesday was called miracle as he survived that long in the world's coldest and highest battlefield at 19,600 ft above sea level. The soldier was disoriented but partially conscious when he was found. He was put on a ventilator and immediately moved to Delhi’s Army Research and Referral Hospital.
The hospital later said Hanumanthappa was in critical condition – he was in shock and suffering from pneumonia and severe hypothermia, besides being dehydrated and hypoxic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited him on Tuesday. Doctors said the soldier was likely trapped in an air bubble dozens of feet below snow and thus survived six days.
Specialised rescue teams worked through temperatures as low as -55°C to recover the Madras Regiment soldiers who were buried by the avalanche last Thursday. The army had announced that all 10 soldiers had died, before Hanumanthappa was found. His hometown in Dharwad, Karnataka, celebrated the news of his survival, and his family was flown to Delhi on Tuesday night.