Porter falls in crevasse in Siachen, body found

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Jammu/New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) The army on Wednesday recovered the body of a porter who died after slipping into a 200-foot deep crevasse in Jammu and Kashmir’s Siachen Glacier.

Three crevasses opened up in the northern glacier at the Siachen on February 25, and these were bridged on February 26 and 27. The porter, Thukjay Gyasket, was part of the crevasse bridging team.

“After a massive rescue effort, the army today (Wednesday) recovered the body of a porter who had fallen into a 200-foot deep crevasse in Siachen’s northern glacier,” Colonel S.D. Goswami, spokesman of the army’s Udhampur-headquartered Northern Command told IANS in Jammu.

Gyasket was returning after completing the task on a scooter with his teammate when the vehicle slipped on ice while crossing a bridge on an old crevasse. He fell into the crevasse at an altitude of 19,000 feet around 2.30 p.m. on February 27. The crevasse was six feet long and two to four feet wide.

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The army pressed five officers, 40 soldiers and 13 porters for five days on the search and rescue mission.

“The efforts were extensive and round the clock, using 20 types of rescue equipment, including oxygen cylinders, special ropes, harness, search lights, generators and mechanical ice cutters,” an army statement said.

The rescue operations were hampered as blue ice had to be cut through to widen the crevasse. The body was finally recovered at 12.15 p.m. on Wednesday.

“The mortal remains of the porter have been sent in an army helicopter to the field hospital at Hunder for wreath-laying and other ceremonies,” the statement said.

The tragedy comes days after 10 soldiers were buried under nearly 30 feet of ice and snow when an avalanche hit the Indian Army’s Sonam post at an altitude of around 20,000 feet on the Siachen Glacier on February 3.

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