New Delhi: At least four soldiers, including two porters, were on Monday killed after an avalanche struck the Army positions in the Siachen Glacier, the Indian Army said in a statement. Earlier reports suggested that a total eight personnel were trapped after the avalanche struck the area at around 3:30 PM on Monday. The avalanche happened at an altitude of 18,000 feet above sea level.
The Army personnel who were hit by the avalanche were part of a patrolling team and were on duty when the unfortunate incident happened.
The Indian Army said the Avalanche Rescue Teams from nearby posts were rushed to the location to pull them from under the snow.
The rescue team managed to pull out all the eight personnel from under the debris and seven critically injured persons, accompanied by medical teams providing critical care, were evacuated by helicopters to the nearest Military Hospital, where all lifesaving resuscitative measures were instituted.
The Indian Army said the incident happened when the patrolling team was evacuating another person who fell sick in the camp.
A similar avalanche had hit a village in Gurez sector of Kashmir’s Bandipora district in February this year. However, there were no reports of loss of life in the incident.
“A snow avalanche hit village Khandiyal in Gurez last night (Thursday),” officials of the Disaster Management Department had told PTI. As per officials, many many houses were damaged due to the avalanche.
Later reported suggested that five people, who were trapped in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district following an avalanche, were rescued successfully.
Notably, authorities had issued avalanche warnings for the higher reaches of the state on a regular basis after this season’s heavy snowfall in the state.
“Five persons were trapped under the snow, prompting authorities to launch a search and rescue operation. All the five people were rescued by a joint team of police and Army,” Disaster Management Department officials told PTI.
Notably, authorities had been issuing avalanche warnings for the higher reaches of the state on a regular basis after this season’s heavy snowfall in the state.
The world’s highest battlefield, Siachen has in the past witnessed many soldiers being killed in the weather and terrain-related incidents.
India has made its Army base at the Siachen since 1984 after Pakistan tired to intrude the glacier by sending its troops there.
On his last visit to Ladakh last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced the reopening of the glacier for tourists.