New Delhi: In a second unfortunate incident within 15 days, two Indian Army personnel were killed on Saturday after an avalanche hit their patrol at an altitude of about 18,000 feet in southern Siachen glacier.
“An Army patrol operating at an altitude of approximately 18,000 feet in Southern Siachen Glacier was hit by an avalanche during the early hours of 30 November 2019," said a statement by the Indian army. It said that an Avalanche Rescue Team (ART) following the patrol immediately rushed and managed to locate and pull out all members of the patrol. Simultaneously, Army helicopters were pressed into service to evacuate the avalanche victims.
“However, despite best efforts by the medical teams, two Army personnel succumbed in the avalanche,” it said.
Earlier on November 18, four Indian Army personnel and two civilian porters were killed in an avalanche in the northern part of the Siachen Glacier.
The Siachen Glacier in the Karakorum range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds.
Avalanches and landslides are common at the glacier during the winter and temperatures can drop to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius
Indian army has lost 163 personnel, including six officers, in the Siachen Glacier, which is world's highest battlefield, during the last 10 years, according to a defence ministry statement in Parliament last year in March.
India and Pakistan started deploying troops at the strategically key glacier in 1984.