Siachen Braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Dies, India Salutes Him

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Lance Naik Hanamanthappa spent six days buried alive under 25 feet of ice after an avalanche at Siachen.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Lance Naik Hanamanthappa died in hospital earlier today: Army
  2. The 33-year-old soldier is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter
  3. Lance Naik Hanamanthappa had survived six days under 25 feet of ice
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, 33, died at Delhi's RR Hospital this morning, four days after he was discovered alive in what has been described as a miraculous rescue from Siachen.

He is survived by his wife, Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal, and a two-year-old daughter.

The soldier's body has been taken to the capital's Brar Square, where a wreath-laying ceremony will be held between 5.15 and 5.30 this evening. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the three service chiefs will pay tribute to Lance Naik Hanamanthappa at the ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi could also attend, sources said. Also present will be Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The Lance Naik's body will be then be taken to his village Detdor in Dhadwaad, Karnataka, for last rites tomorrow.

Tributes are pouring in for the braveheart as India salutes him. PM Modi said on Twitter:
 
"The soldier in him will continue to inspire generations," said Army chief General Dalbir Singh.

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa spent six days buried alive under 25 feet of ice at the Siachen glacier after an avalanche came crashing down on the military post at Sonam.

He was found in the fibre-reinforced hut that served as a base at 19,600 feet on the glacier.  Lying next to him were the bodies of nine soldiers from his regiment.
 

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa was flown to the military hospital in Delhi on Monday

He was flown to the military hospital in Delhi, where PM Modi had visited him on Tuesday, saying he brought "prayers from the entire nation."

Rescue workers endured gruelling conditions for a courageous and tireless effort to find the 10 soldiers who went missing after the massive avalanche ripped over the post on February 3 in Siachen, known for its unforgiving environment.

The soldiers had been declared dead by the army and the government, partly why the discovery of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who survived in an air pocket created under the ice, was dubbed "the Siachen miracle."
 

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