One of the 10 Indian Army soldiers who got buried under snow following an avalanche in the remote Himalayas in the northern Kashmir region has been rescued alive. Officials said his survival was "miraculous".
The avalanche struck the northern Siachen Glacier, located at about 19,000ft in the eastern Karakoram Range, near the de facto border with Pakistan on 3 February. The Indian Army launched a massive rescue operation to search for the 10 soldiers who were on patrol during the incident but went missing thereafter.
"In the ongoing rescue operation at Siachen, of the 10 soldiers buried, [one] has been found alive," General D.S. Hooda from the army's northern command said in a statement, according to AFP. "All other soldiers are regrettably no longer with us," he added.
The only surviving soldier was found buried under nearly 25 metres of snow. Officials said chances of finding anyone alive were very grim. "We hope the miracle continues. Pray with us," the statement said.
All the missing soldiers belong to the Madras Regiment. In January, four soldiers were killed in another avalanche in the region where temperatures during winter can drop to as low as minus 60C.
Avalanches and landslides are common in Siachen, dubbed the world's highest battlefield. The glacier, which forms a terminus between India, Pakistan and China, has claimed the lives of an estimated 8,000 troops since India and Pakistan deployed their soldiers there in 1984.