Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad died on Thursday, three days after he was miraculously rescued alive from beneath tonnes of snow following an avalanche that hit his post in Siachen Glacier at a height of 19,600 feet.

“Lance Naik Hanamanthappa is no more. He breathed his last at 11:45 AM today,” a senior army official said.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday condoled the death of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad who passed away at a hospital here after battling for his life for two days.

“I am deeply sad to learn about the passing away of your son, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad,” the president said in a message to the soldier’s mother Basamma Koppad.

“Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey them to the members of your family. I pray to the Almighty to give you and your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss.”

The president, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, said that Koppad was a hero who demonstrated exemplary will power and courage in the face of adversity.

“Koppad made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. In this moment of grief, the sympathies and condolences of the entire nation are your family and you,” he said, adding the nation shall always remember Kopppad for his bravery and indomitable spirit.

The 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad. A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back.

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The condition of Koppad, who was admitted to Army Research and Referral Hospital here on February 9, had deteriorated yesterday. Dubbed as the ‘miracle man’, the soldier had managed to stay alive for six days buried under the snow after an avalanche struck their post on February 3.

His condition was reviewed by a team of doctors comprising critical care specialists, the HoD Dept of Medicine, a senior nephrologist, a senior neurologist of the army hospital and a panel of experts from AIIMS yesterday.

33-year-old Koppad volunteered more than once for postings in inhospitable and difficult areas, serving in these areas for 10 years out of his 13-year-long Army career.

At a personal level, Koppad was an ever-smiling person who shared cordial relations with his Army colleagues and subordinates.

A resident of Betadur village in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad enlisted in the Madras Regiment’s 19th Battalion on October 25, 2002.

He was deployed in Mahore in Jammu & Kashmir from 2003 to 2006, where he was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations.

He again volunteered to serve the 54 Rashtriya Rifles (MADRAS) in Jammu & Kashmir from 2008 to 2010, where he displayed indomitable courage and gallantry in fighting terrorists.

The Lance Naik also volunteered to serve in the northeast from 2010 to 2012, where he actively participated in successful operations against the National Democratic Front of Bodoland and United Liberation Front of Assam.

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Koppad was posted on the Siachen Glacier from August 2015. He was deployed on one of the highest posts where temperatures can plummet well below minus 40 degrees Celsius and winds of up to 100 km per hour batter the frozen landscape and army men deployed there.

He along with his team members were deployed at the Army’s Sonam Post — the highest permanently manned post in the world — when an avalanche engulfed their camp on February 3.

The 10 soldiers buried alive were maintaining the world’s highest helipad in the area, which brought supplies for soldiers on the Siachen Glacier.

While nine soldiers, including one Junior Commissioned Officer, died, Koppad was the only one who cheated death, at least for a few days more than his colleagues.

The nine soldiers who died in the avalanche are Subedar Nagesha TT of village Tejur, Hassan district, Karnataka; Havaldar Elum Alai M. of village Dukkam Parai, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu; Lance Havildar S. Kumar of village Kumanan Thozhu, Teni district, Tamil Nadu; Lance Naik Sudheesh B. of village Monroethuruth, Kollam district, Kerala; Sepoy Mahesha P.N. of village HD Kote, Mysore district, Karnataka; Sepoy Ganesan G. of village Chokkathevan Patti, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu; Sepoy Rama Moorthy N. of village Gudisa tana Palli, Krishna Giri district, Tamil Nadu; Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed S. of village Parnapalle, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh; and Sepoy (Nursing Assistant) Suryawanshi S.V. of village Maskarwadi, Satara district, Maharashtra.

(With IANS inputs)