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Siachen avalanche: Army Chief apprises Defence Minister about ground situation

In this June 21, 2016 file photo, soldiers perform Yoga in Siachen. An eight-member team of Army personnel was struck by an avalanche in northern Siachen on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.
NEW DELHI: Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Tuesday apprised Defence Minister Rajnath Singh about the ground situation on Siachen Glacier where an avalanche claimed the lives of four Army personnel and two porters.

A group of eight persons, including six Army personnel, were struck by the avalanche at an altitude of 19,000 ft at around 3 pm on Monday. Rescue teams from nearby posts were rushed to the location after the incident.

Only two Army personnel survived the avalanche, an official said.

"Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh spoke to the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, regarding the tragedy in Siachen. CoAS has apprised RM of the ground situation in Siachen," the Defence Minister's office tweeted.

Singh also expressed anguish over the death of the Army personnel and civilians.

"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," Singh tweeted.

The Siachen Glacier at the height of around 20,000 ft in the Karakoram range is known as the highest militarized zone in the world where soldiers have to battle frostbites and strong winds in sub-zero temperatures.

Avalanches and landslides are common at the glacier during the winter and temperatures can drop to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.
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