Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad who was rescued six days after he was buried under 35 feet of snow after an avalanche hit an Indian Army post in Siachen at an altitude of 19,600 feet, passed away on Thursday at 11.45am. Lance Naik was rescued on Monday and had been brought to the Army R&R hospital for treatment.
“Really sorry to inform everyone that LNK Hanamanthappa is no more. He breathed his last breath at 11:45 a.m. today,” Army officials said.
The soldier of 19 Madras regiment was rescued alive on Monday night after being buried under 35 feet of snow for six days. He was flown to Delhi on Tuesday in an Air Force aircraft. He continued to be on ventilator support since admitted in the hospital.
“His condition steadily deteriorated due to multiple organ failure. There are evidences of oxygen deprivation in the brain and pneumonia in both lungs,” doctors have said.
The 33-year-old soldier, who hails from Karnataka, is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad. Koppad had joined the army 13 years back. He has served in difficult and challenging areas for 10 years. He was posted in Mahore in Jammu and Kashmir from 2003 to 2006, where he was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations. He again volunteered to serve with the 54 Rashtriya Rifles (Madras) in Jammu and Kashmir from 2008 to 2010, and later in the northeast from 2010 to 2012 where he took part in operations against the NDFB and ULFA.
He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 11, 2016
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa epitomises human courage,spirit in its purest form. We wish the brave soldier a speedy and complete recovery.
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 11, 2016
Nine other personnel at the post, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), of Madras Regiment died, according to Lt Gen D S Hooda, Northern Army Commander. “Five bodies have been recovered so far and four bodies have been identified,” he said.