Seven Indian Army personnel have gone missing in the Kameng sector in Arunachal Pradesh after the patrolling party was hit by an avalanche. Search and rescue operations are underway to find them. According to Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Defence in Tezpur, the seven personnel who were hit by the avalanche on Sunday were part of a patrol squad. According to him, specialized personnel has been transported to assist with rescue operations.
Extreme weather near LAC in Arunachal
The Army also stated that the area has been experiencing adverse weather, including significant snowfall, for several days. According to news agency PTI, snowfall was reported for the first time in 34 years on Daria Hill near Itanagar, and for the first time in two decades on Rupa town in Arunachal Pradesh's West Kameng district. Patrolling in high-altitude places during the colder months could be challenging, and the Army has already suffered casualties in similar circumstances. Two Army soldiers were killed in an avalanche in Sikkim in May 2020. They were part of a patrol-cum-snow-clearing party.
Five Navy troops were caught in an avalanche on Mt Trishul in Uttarakhand in October of last year, while on an expedition. Later, their bodies were discovered. In February 2020, the administration notified Parliament that six Army servicemen perished in the Siachen Glacier in 2019 as a result of avalanches and snowfalls, while 11 more died in similar situations elsewhere.