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IAF's dark night airlift to rescue Army jawan injured in Leh forward area

With a window of six to eight hours available, the Indian Air Force quickly dispatched one of its C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft. It landed at Leh using night vision equipment and evacuated the soldier to Delhi.
alyan Ray
Last Updated : 12 April 2024, 06:45 IST
Last Updated : 12 April 2024, 06:45 IST

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New Delhi: A night landing of a C-130J aircraft, quick thinking by men in uniform and a nine-hour-long surgery have paid dividends as doctors in Delhi were able to stitch back the severed left palm of a soldier after it was chopped off in an accident at Leh.

On April 9th, Naik Konchok Gailsin, 39, was brought to the Military Garrison Hospital at Leh with a severed left hand with complete amputation of left thumb and left index finger. The soldier from the Ladakh Scouts regiment sustained the injury while operating on a machine.

At the Leh hospital, he was stabilised and kept in the intensive care units. But the doctors realised the soldier would need a specialised hand-attachment surgery. Unfortunately, such skilled surgeons and support staff were not available at Leh.

A decision was made to transport Gailsin to the Army Hospital Research and Referral in Delhi for advanced medical care to save his appendages. The amputated organ was kept in a cold container.

With a window of six to eight hours available, the Indian Air Force quickly dispatched one of its C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft. It landed at Leh using night vision equipment and evacuated the soldier to Delhi.

“The operation witnessed great synergy within the armed Forces as the IAF facilitated the transportation within an hour of the Indian Army requesting for the airlift,” said an officer.

At the national capital, the soldier was immediately moved to AHRR from Palam Technical Area under medical supervision. He underwent an emergency and highly complex nine-hour long surgery for the reimplantation of his hand, including the amputated thumb and index finger. The soldier is now stable and under post-surgery care.

“The case demonstrates the Indian Army's ethos of leaving no soldier behind and ensuring the best possible outcome in the face of adversity. It also highlights the synergy between the services, where every unit and individual works in unison,” he added.

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Published 12 April 2024, 06:45 IST

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