Srinagar: At least 22 armed forces personnel have died while on their duty at high altitudes including Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground, the government of India informed on Thursday.
In 20016, there were six casualties while the number stood at eight each in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
“Causes of death in Siachen Glacier and other Super High Altitude Areas range from those directly related to High Altitude like High Altitude Pulmonary Oedama (HAPO) and Pulmonary Thrombo Embolism (PTE) to other general causes,” Shripad Naik, minister of state for Defence, told parliament in a written reply.
“Indian army is deployed in highly treacherous terrain along the borders in J&K, where there is the constant threat of crevasses, avalanches and other weather-related calamities to the troops,” Naik, who is also a Minister of State in the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, said in a reply in Parliament.
“The government undertakes several steps to prevent casualties like pre-induction medical examination, requisite medical cover at all medical echelons which are well equipped to deal with any high altitude illness, stringent acclimatization schedule, provision of specialised training, special living shelters including the provision of kerosene oil, provision of specialised clothing and high-quality rations,” he said, adding, “steps are also undertaken to utilise modern technological equipment for rescue missions, prevention of accidents and ensuring rapid and timely evacuation of casualty, apart from issuing of regular advisories.
(With inputs from GNS)
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