Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad

Siachen survivor Lance Naik Hanamanthappa passes away

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 11, 2016

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the soldier who survived six days under tons of ice after an avalanche in Siachen on February 3, passed away today at the Army Hospital (Research & Referral) here, losing the battle against the irreversible damage the ordeal had caused to his body. 
The soldier was in a state of coma when he was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and his health condition gradually worsened over the next two days. He breathed his last around 1145 hours today, official sources said.
"He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"Condolences to family of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa on his passing away. The nation salutes him," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.
Earlier this morning, a medical bulletin issued by the hospital said his health condition was "extremely critical", with worsening multiple organ dysfunction.
It said Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad of 19 Madras, who hailed from Dharwar in Karnataka, had slipped into a deeper state of coma.
"His circulatory shock is now refractory to all drugs in maximum permissible doses and his kidneys remain non-functional. His pneumonia has worsened and the blood clotting disorder shows no sign of reversal despite blood component support. He is on maximal life support with aggressive ventilation and dialysis," the bulletin had said.
He was being treated by a team of top doctors from the Army Hospital as well as from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who was one of ten soldiers buried under tons of snow after a major avalanche struck their post, located at a height of about 20,000 feet in North Siachen Glacier, in the early hours of February 3, was pulled out alive by Army rescue teams on the night of February 8.
The soldier was trapped under nearly 35 feet of snow in temperatures close to -40 degrees Centigrade. When he was brought out, the rescue team was pleasantly surprised to feel a very faint pulse, though he was in a very critical condition.
"He was rescued from the site on February 8. On recovery, he was found to be conscious but drowsy and disoriented. He was severely dehydrated, hypothermic, hypoxic, hypoglycemic and in shock. He was immediately resuscitated by the doctors at the site, who had been there for the past five days in the hope of a survivor," a statement from the Army had said on Tuesday.
The statement said Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was treated with warm intravenous fluids, humidified warm oxygen and passive external re-warming.
He was flown out from the site on Tuesday morning by helicopter along with a medical specialist to the Siachen base camp, from where he was brought to the Thois air base. He was then transferred to Delhi by a fixed wing aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) along with a Critical Care Specialist of the IAF and medical specialist from the Siachen Base Camp. 
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was comatose and in shock with low blood pressure when he was admitted to the hospital.
The nine other soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer, who were also trapped in the avalanche, have died and the Army search teams have retrieved their bodies.