PM CONFIRMS SIACHEN DEATHS, SALUTES SOLDIERS

Modi (File Photo)

SICHEN (TIP): The Army has now given up hope of rescuing alive any of the 10 soldiers whose post in the Northern Siachen Glacier got buried under “a massive ice-wall avalanche” on Wednesday, even as Pakistan on Thursday offered help in the rescue operations.

Specialised Army teams, backed by sniffer dogs, ice-cutters, drilling machines and other equipment, continue to soldier on with their search-and-rescue operation at the ill-fated Sonam Post at an altitude of 19,600 ft.”But with the passage of over 35 hours, the chances of finding any survivor are now remote. The entire area, with the post and adjoining helipad, was buried deep under tonnes of crystalised snow when the ice-wall, measuring almost a km wide and 800-m-tall, collapsed on Wednesday,” said an officer.

“Even if the fibre-glass huts of the 10 soldiers (a JCO and nine jawans of the 19 Madras Regiment) were somehow intact under the ice blanket, the oxygen would have finished by now,” he added. PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Demise of soldiers in Siachen is very tragic. I salute the brave soldiers who gave their lives to the nation. Condolences to their families.” Northern Army Command chief Lt-Gen D S Hooda also expressed grief at the incident.

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