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Ten Army soldiers missing in Siachen avalanche presumed dead; PM Modi 'salutes' martyrs

By Manisha Singh | Last Updated: Friday, February 5, 2016 - 00:45
Ten Army soldiers missing in Siachen avalanche presumed dead; PM Modi 'salutes' martyrs
Pic courtesy: ANI
Zee Media Bureau

Delhi: Ten soldiers buried in an avalanche at the Siachen Glacier in the remote Himalayas are presumed to be dead, as per reports on Thursday.

The soldiers were on duty at an Army post on a glacier at an altitude of 5,900 metres (19,600 feet) when it was hit by a massive avalanche early Wednesday.

Those martyred are a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of Madras Regiment. Their post was close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.

 

The glaciated area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees Celsius in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees C during the day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the death of the soldiers tragic and tweeted the following - "Demise of soldiers in Siachen is very tragic. I salute the brave soldiers who gave their lives to the nation. Condolences to their families."

On the other hand Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, "My heartfelt condolences to near and dear ones of our brave soldiers who were martyred in line of duty at Siachen," as per ANI.

 

He added, "It is our duty to take care of their families."

And Lt Gen DS Hooda, Army Commander, Northern Command, said in a message, "It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," as per PTI.

Massive effort had been launched by the Army and IAF since yesterday to rescue the soldiers.

Specialised teams with modern equipment, flown to Leh this morning, were also pressed into service along with sniffer dogs. Heavy snow cutters and special equipment were used to clear and cut the ice blocks.

However, Defence PRO based in Northern Command Col SD Goswami​ had said earlier said that hopes of finding them was very remote.

"Operation by specialised teams of Army and Air Force in Siachen to rescue soldiers hit by avalanche have entered day two. Specialised equipment was flown in to Leh today morning to further boost the rescue efforts. With deepest regret we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are very remote," he had said. 

 

Col Goswami had added that blocks of snow had fallen on the post, burying it very deep.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul also paid tributes to the soldiers.

(With Agency inputs)

First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 21:12
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