India is mourning the tragic death of its 10 army personnel, who were declared dead as they found themselves buried under a mass of snow after being hit by an avalanche on Siachen Glacier on Wednesday.
On Thursday the army confirmed that there was no hope left for their survival and all of them were being deemed dead.
Confirming the news, defence PRO based in Northern Command Col S D 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.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been among those sending their condolences.
Narendra Modi said, “Demise of soldiers in Siachen is very tragic. I salute the brave soldiers who gave their lives to the nation. Condolences to their families.”
Rahul Gandhi said, “My thoughts and prayers are with soldiers’ families.”
Arvind Kejriwal said, “Very sad to hear that 10 soldiers lost in Siachen. May their souls rest in peace.”
“It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” Lt Gen DS Hooda, Army Commander, Northern Command was quoted by the PTI.
The army and the IAF tried hard since Wednesday to rescue the soldiers — a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other ranks of Madras Regiment — after their post was hit by the avalanche at the altitude of 19,000 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.
Specialised teams with modern equipment were flown to Leh on Thursday morning along with sniffer dogs but all efforts to rescue them failed.
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.