Rising Kashmir NewsJammu, Feb 4:
The 10 army men including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) trapped under snow after a massive avalanche struck their high-altitude military post yesterday in Siachen glacier were feared dead.
Defence spokesman or Northern command Colonel S D Goswami said chances of finding any survivors were very remote after the deadly avalanche hit an army post that was manned by the armymen at an altitude of 19,600 feet yesterday evening.
Army’s Northern Command chief Lt Gen DS Hooda’s statement indicated that the worst fears of authorities may have come true.
"It is a tragic event and we salute the army men, who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," he said.
The rescue operations by specialized teams of the Army and the Air Force entered the second day today. The rescue efforts were scaled up with induction of
specialised teams, sniffer dogs and equipment.
Goswami said rescue teams are braving adverse weather and effects of rarified atmosphere to locate and rescue survivors. “However, it is with deepest of regrets that we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are now very remote”.
He said specialised equipment was flown to Leh in the morning. “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”.
He said that blocks of snow had fallen on the post, burying it very deep.
"To clear the same is a very difficult task", he said, adding that "building on yesterday's efforts, a very large rescue team has been deployed today to reach down till the post".
"The rescue operations have been intensified with induction of specialised teams and equipment to trace the missing Army men", the defence spokesman said.
Heavy snow cutters and special equipment are being used to clear and cut the ice blocks, as Army and IAF teams battle harsh weather conditions and difficult terrain to trace the missing army men.
Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra today expressed shock and grief over the tragic loss of Army personnel deployed in an Army Post in Northern Siachen Glacier who were buried under a snow wall which collapsed over the post.
He spoke to Lt Gen D S today to convey his heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families over this tragic loss.
The Governor lauded the brave officers and men of the Indian Army who serve in the most difficult areas, brave all odds and even give away their lives for safeguarding national security.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and MP, Mehbooba Mufti also expressed grief and sorrow over loss of Army men in Siachen avalanche.
In a statement, she conveyed her heartfelt sympathies to the Northern Command Chief and the families of the Army men, who are missing in the tragic incident.