Siachen tragedy: Next 48 hours crucial for rescued jawan

PM visits soldier, hails his 'indomitable spirit'09 Feb 2016 | 5:21 PM

NEW DELHI: The next 48 hours will prove crucial for the Army jawan who miraculously found alive after being buried under 25 feet of snow following an avalanche atop the Siachen glacier. A medical bulletin of the Indian Army on Tuesday said Lance Naik Hanamanthappa K, who was evacuated to Delhi, was camatose but had no frostbite

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Siachen tragedy: Next 48 hours crucial for rescued jawanFile photo of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa who is critical and on a ventilator at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi on Tuesday. Hanumanthappa was miraculously found alive after remaining buried under huge mass of snow for six days at Siachen Glacier. PTI photo

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10

The next 48 hours will prove crucial for the Army jawan who miraculously found alive after being buried under 25 feet of snow following an avalanche atop the Siachen glacier.

A medical bulletin of the Indian Army on Tuesday said Lance Naik Hanamanthappa K, who was evacuated to Delhi, was camatose but had no frostbite. However, the bulletin said: "He remains critical and is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24 to 48 hours due to complications by rewarming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body”.

He had been airlifted to Delhi on Tuesday morning. He was shifted on board a helicopter from the 19,600 feet high ‘sonam post’ on the Siachen glacier to the Siachen base came. An Indian Air Force C-130-j transport plane specialised with a medical emergency room was stationed at Thoise (next to the base camp) and it flew with him to Delhi for further treatment and observation at Army run Research and Referral hospital in Delhi Cantt.

In the wee hours on Tuesday, Lt Gen DS Hooda, Northern Army Commander, had confirmed that Hanumanthappa was found alive. The other nine are dead. 

Sources in Delhi said the jawan was trapped between two block of ice forming a ‘pocket’ of 25 square feet. Hanumathappa survived as he was clad in alpine clothing and high quality snow boots.  

Army officials clarified that a video of rescue running on social media was not of this operation.

A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of Madras Regiment were buried after their post was hit by the avalanche on February 3.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Hanumanthappa saying he is an "outstanding soldier" whose "endurance and indomitable spirit" cannot be described in words.

Modi went to Army's Research and Referral Hospital here to see Hanumanthappa soon after he was airlifted from Siachen and prayed for his best.

"No words are enough to describe the endurance & indomitable spirit of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. He is an outstanding soldier," he tweeted.

"Team of doctors is attending to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. We are all hoping & praying for the best," Modi added.

Siachen is the world’s highest active battlefield, contested by India and Pakistan since 1984 when India launched Operation Meghdoot and captured the peaks.  

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