Four Army Jawans were martyred and two civilians were killed in the line of duty as a patrol team was hit by an avalanche in the Siachen Glacier on Monday. The Army has said that eight personnel operating in the Northern Sector of the Siachen Glacier at an altitude of 19,000 feet were hit by the avalanche. The Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh took tweeted his condolences.
Deeply pained by the demise of soldiers and porters due to avalanche in Siachen. I salute their courage and service to the nation. My heartfelt condolences to their families.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) November 19, 2019
“Avalanche Rescue Teams from the nearby posts were rushed to the location for rescue work,” a defence spokesman said. He said that all the eight personnel were pulled out of the avalanche debris. “Seven individuals who were critically injured, accompanied by medical teams, providing critical care were evacuated by helicopters to nearest Military Hospital, where all life-saving resuscitative measures were instituted," the defence spokesman said. The spokesman added, however, said that despite best efforts, six casualties took place, which includes four soldiers and two civilian porters who succumbed to extreme hypothermia.
Situated at a height of over 20,000 feet in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas just northeast of pony NJ9842 where the Line of Control between Indian and Pakistan ends, the Siachen glacier is 76 km long and is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and the second-longest in the world's non-polar areas. Siachen is the highest battleground on earth where India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since 1984. Both India and Pakistan maintain a permanent military presence in the region.
Indian Army under operation Meghadoot had pre-empted Pakistan’s operation Ababeel by just one day to capture the most of the dominating heights on the Saltoro ridge to the west of the Siachen Glacier. However, harsh weather conditions on the Glacier have resulted in more deaths than in the combat. Pakistan lost 353 soldiers in various operations recorded between 2003 and 2010 near Siachen, including 140 Pakistani personnel killed in 2010 Gayari sector avalanche. Between January 2012 and July 2015, 33 Indian soldiers were martyred due to adverse weather. In December 2015, the then Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit in a written reply in the Lok Sabha had said that that a total of 869 Army personnel have lost their lives on the Siachen glacier due to climatic conditions and environmental and other factors till date since the Army launched Operation Meghdoot in 1984.