Ladakh: Army recovers bodies of 3 soldiers buried in snow for over 8 months : The Tribune India

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Ladakh: Army recovers bodies of 3 soldiers buried in snow for over 8 months

Were on expedition to conquer Mount Kun in October last year

Ladakh: Army recovers bodies of 3 soldiers buried in snow for over 8 months

High altitude warfare school mountaineers recover the mortal remains of a soldier. ANI



Our Correspondent

Jammu, July 10

In a daredevil operation, a specialised team of the Army has retrieved the mortal remains of three soldiers who were buried on Mount Kun in Ladakh in October 2023.

The mission to recover the bodies was undertaken by High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS). This operation was launched to retrieve the bodies of three Havildar instructors of the institution. An Army official informed that in July 2023, a 38-member mountaineering expedition from HAWS set out to conquer Mount Kun in Ladakh.

The expedition commenced on October 1, 2023 and the team hoped to conquer Mount Kun by October 13, 2023. The treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather in this glaciated region posed immense challenges. While fixing ropes on a snow wall, the team was struck by a sudden avalanche on 8 October 2023 at a height of over 18,300 ft, between Camp 2 and Camp 3 on the Fariabad Glacier.

“Four members were caught in the deadly slide. The expedition team made all endeavours to rescue the team members, who fell in the crevasse and got buried under large volume of snow and courageously laid down their lives in true spirit of adventure and quest. Despite valiant efforts, the team could only recover the mortal remains of Lance Naik Stanzin Targais,” an official said.

The bodies of Havildar Rohit, Havildar Thakur Bahadur Ale, and Naik Gautam Rajbanshi remained trapped deep within a crevasse, buried under layers of snow and ice.

“Refusing to leave their brothers behind, HAWS launched a meticulously planned rescue mission, codenamed Operation RTG, on June 18, 2024. The mission was named in honour of the missing soldiers— Rohit, Thakur, and Gautam. The rescue expedition consisted of 88 expert mountaineers who against all odds, had set out to rescue the mortal remains of their fallen comrades” the official said.

Specialised mountaineering teams with rescue equipment, special clothing, survival kits, tents and meals set up a camp. Two helicopters were also placed on standby to ferry the mortal remains of the bravehearts and for evacuation of rescue team, if need be.

A base camp was established at a distance of approximately 13 Kms from the road head at a height of about 14790 feet. Maj Gen Bruce Fernandez, Commandant, HAWS, stationed himself at Base Camp, overseeing the rescue efforts.

The first significant breakthrough came when the mortal remains of Havildar Rohit Kumar (Dogra Scouts) were found about 30 ft of a snow and ice in the crevasse on July, 4 2024.

“The mission aim was finally accomplished on July 8, 2024, as the mortal remains of all three trapped soldiers were recovered and no team Member was left behind,” the official said. The mortal remains have been transported to respective families with full military honours.

Fell in crevasse, got buried under avalanche

  • The mountaineering expedition commenced on October 1, 2023 and the team hoped to conquer Mount Kun by October 13, 2023. The unpredictable weather in the glaciated region posed immense challenges
  • The team was struck by a sudden avalanche on October 8 at a height of over 18,300 ft, between Camp 2 and Camp 3 on the Fariabad Glacier
  • Four members were caught in the deadly slide. The expedition team made all endeavours to rescue the team members, who fell in the crevasse and got buried under large volume of snow

#Jammu #Ladakh


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