Army finds soldier's body in Himalayas after 45 years

Sep 02, 2013, 01:04 IST | Agencies

The body of a soldier who died in a plane crash 45 years ago has been found in the Himalayas and will be given a military funeral, the army said yesterday

A team found the soldier’s body, still wearing a uniform with personal identification documents in the pocket, on August 22 -- more than four decades after he and 101 others died when an army transport aircraft crashed in February 1968.

Search comes to an end: The Himalayas are an icy graveyard for those who disappear in them. The Army carried out three search missions till 2009 to find the bodies of soldiers aboard the plane. File pic

The man, identified as Jagmail Singh, came from Meerpur village in Haryana, an army spokesman said.

“Bad weather hasn’t allowed us to fly the body home yet for a military funeral,” he said.

The remains were recovered at an altitude of 5,400 metres on the Dhakka glacier in Himachal Pradesh.

“His identity was established by an identity disc, an insurance policy and a letter from his family which was found in his pocket,” the spokesman said.

The plane took off from a fog-shrouded runway in the city of Chandigarh and was headed for the Himalayan town of Leh.

Halfway to his destination, the pilot decided to turn back due to bad weather.

The aircraft last made radio contact near the 13,050 feet Rohtang pass, before vanishing.

Trekkers stumbled upon its wreckage in 2003 after finding the partially frozen body of a soldier on the glacier, in a particularly remote stretch of the Himalayas.

The army mounted three search missions in the years up to 2009 and recovered four more bodies.

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