Itanagar: The rescue operation to save the seven Indian Army personnel who were struck by an avalanche in the High Altitude area of Kameng Sector in Arunachal on February 6, concluded on Tuesday, confirming that all the seven personnel are dead.
The bodies of all the deceased Army personnel have been recovered from the avalanche site and are being transferred to the nearest Army medical facility. The area located at an altitude of 14,500 feet, had been witnessing heavy snowfall for the past few days.
“Bodies of all seven individuals have been recovered from the avalanche site. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, all seven have been confirmed deceased,” the Army said in a statement.
The Indian Army along with the local police have retrieved the bodies from the avalanche site, Tezpur-based Defence Spokesman Lt Col Harsh Vardhan Pande said.
The seven soldiers belonged to the 19 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, an infantry regiment of the Indian Army.
The avalanche hit the Army personnel while they were on a patrolling in the Chume Gyater area near Yangtse. The Chume Gyater area in around 100 km from the district headquarters of Tawang.
“Search and rescue operations were launched immediately, including airlifting of specialised teams,” the Army said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday condoled the death of seven Indian Army personnel who were hit by an avalanche on Sunday while on a patrol along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Kameng sector in Arunachal Pradesh.
“Deeply pained by the demise of Indian Army personnel who were struck by an avalanche in Kemang Sector, Arunachal Pradesh. These brave soldiers lost their lives while serving the nation. I salute their courage and service. My heartfelt condolences to their bereaved families,” Singh stated in a tweet.
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) Dr BD Mishra and Chief Minister Pema Khandu have also condoled the loss of brave soldiers of the 19th Battalion of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles in the avalanche.
The Governor, who was closely monitoring the search and rescue operation since 6th February along with Army top brass, said that the loss of life of seven soldiers is a big shock to the bereaved families, the Army and the people of India.
“The enterprise of these bravehearts to secure the territorial integrity of our motherland, inspite of the vagaries of the weather and the difficulty of the terrain, will always inspire us and it will be remembered by the people of Arunachal Pradesh and also the Nation,” he said.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased soldiers, in this hour of grief, and I pray for the secure future of their kith and kin,” the Governor said. He on behalf of the people of Arunachal Pradesh conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace for the departed souls.
Taking to Twitter, Khandu said, “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives of 7 brave Indian Army Jawans, who were trapped in an avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families on their tragic loss. May God give them enough strength to bear the irreparable loss.”
The Army personnel, who were part of a patrolling team, were struck by an avalanche on Sunday last. Search and rescue operations were launched immediately, including airlifting of specialised teams, Defence sources said. With agency inputs