Four soldiers, 2 porters killed in Siachen avalanche

Leh: Rescue operations underway after an avalanche hit Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region trapping 10 people, on Jan 18, 2019. Four dead bodies were recovered from the debris. Rescue teams of police, Border Roads Organisation and Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Force are carrying out the rescue operations. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi   Four soldiers and two civilian porters died after they were trapped in an avalanche on the Siachen Glacier’s northern sector on Monday, officials said.

According to the officials, eight personnel were trapped in an avalanche at around 3 p.m. and the Avalanche Rescue Teams from nearby posts were rushed to the location to pull them out.

The rescuers managed to extricate 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 life saving resuscitative measures were instituted.

Despite best efforts, six persons — four soldiers and two civilian porters — succumbed to extreme hypothermia, officials said.

“The soldiers were part of a patrol. They had been trapped at a height of between 18,000 and 19,000 feet above sea level after they were hit by a snow avalanche,” a senior Army officer told IANS.

The Siachen is the world’s highest battlefield. On a visit to Ladakh last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced the reopening of the glacier for tourists.