Six days after being thought dead, an army jawan was found buried alive under 25 feet of snow on Monday following an avalanche that wiped out an Indian post on Siachen glacier.
Ten soldiers were believed dead after the avalanche hit the post on February 3, five of whose bodies were recovered. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 4 extended his condolences to the soldiers, while tributes were paid nationwide. So when news of the surviving soldier emerged, social media erupted with joy and wishes for the soldier who is currently critical . The Twitter hashtag #SiachenMiracle was the top trend by Tuesday morning as people took to the microblog to convey their regards and wish him well.
#SiachenMiracle— Praneet Nakhare (@praneetMUFC) February 9, 2016
Salute the man who had the resilience to fight for six days covered in snow and our army to keep searching for him!
Surviving under the ice cold avalanche for 6 days! Kudos to Hanumantappa Kopad. Credit to Indian Army as well. #SiachenMiracle— Poulomi Guha (@poulomiguha) February 9, 2016
wake up with this good news #SiachenMiracle Hats off to the braveheart soldier !— Harsh (@Ha_rs_H) February 9, 2016
Lance Naik Hanaman Thappa, who hails from Karnataka, was found with a very weak pulse. Northern Army commander Lt Gen DS Hooda said he was being transferred to a hospital on Tuesday morning.
“Five bodies have been recovered so far and four bodies have been identified. All other soldiers are regrettably no more with us,” he told PTI.
The Siachen glacier is the world’s highest battlefield at an altitude of 19,600 feet and located close to the Line of Control (LoC). Rescue personnel had to dig through almost 40 feet of frozen ice to find the surviving soldier and his dead comrades. The operation faced its own challenges like bad weather in the form of a blizzard, freezing temperatures and extremely low visibility.
Deep respect to our brave men at #Siachen who've tirelessly dug thru 30ft of ice in -20*C n found one soldier alive after SIX days.— atul kasbekar (@atulkasbekar) February 9, 2016
Close to a thousand soldiers have died on the glacier, more often from the harsh conditions than from military offences. India moved into the Saltoro Range and the Siachen glacier in the mid-1980s following conflict with Pakistan over the disputed region.