India avalanche soldier 'critical' in Delhi hospital

An Indian soldier who was buried for six days in an avalanche on the Siachen glacier in Indian-administered Kashmir remains "very critical" in hospital.

Lance Naik (Corporal) Hanamanthappa Koppad was trapped under 8m of snow at a height of nearly 6,000m along with nine other soldiers who all died.

An army statement said that Mr Koppad "continues to battle the odds" and remains "ventilator dependent".

The avalanche hit an army post on the glacier's northern side last Wednesday.

Siachen is patrolled by troops from both India and Pakistan, who dispute the region's sovereignty. It is also known as the world's highest battlefield.

Image copyright Indian Army
Image caption The Indian Army said on Facebook: "Lance Naik Hanamanthappa has displayed unmatched mental robustness and firm will...All ranks of Indian Army pray for his early and full recovery." The bodies of the remaining nine soldiers have been recovered.
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Specialist army and air force teams launched a massive search operation for the missing soldiers close to the Line of Control that divides Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Two army sniffer dogs were part of the rescue operation
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Hanamanthappa Koppad was tapped under 8m of snow
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The rescue team used special equipment to cut through blocks of ice at 5,900m (19,350ft)
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Avalanches and landslides are commonplace in the area during winter where temperatures can drop to -60C (-76F)

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