IAF helicopters rescue 107 people stranded in Ladakh

In two days, IAF helicopters rescue 107 people stranded during 'Chadar Trek' in Ladakh

Indian Air Force ALH helicopters carries out a search and rescue operation to rescue the trekkers at Chadar Trek who were stranded due to sudden flooding in a river, at Niraq, Zanskar valley (Ladakh). (PTI Photo)

IAF helicopters in the last two days have helped rescue 107 people, including foreign nationals, who got stranded during the 'Chadar Trek' in the Union Territory of Ladakh, officials said on Thursday.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) also tweeted about the rescue operation which it carried out with Ladakh's newly-formed civil administration, nearby army units and local disaster relief teams.

"IAF helicopters successfully airlifted 9 foreign nationals (02 French & 07 Chinese) with other stranded trekkers today afternoon. An unwell woman passenger from Ladakh was provided required medical care on the ground & during flight by IAF medical personnel," the IAF tweeted.

The IAF in a statement said, its helicopters have helped rescue 107 individuals during the last two days.

"The rescued trekkers include one man and one woman from France, and four men and three women from China, who as per information were rescued from Padum.

"The IAF will continue the ongoing rescue operation till all the stranded trekkers, guides and porters are evacuated and brought to safety," it said.

The trekkers, including foreign nationals and almost an equal number of local guides and porters, were part of the ongoing 'Chadar Trek', and got stranded when some portions of the frozen Zanskar River melted, the IAF said.

"The melting caused the flow of the water to become too strong, for the trekkers to continue across the river on foot. The stranded trekkers managed to move to Niraq, a small camp site upstream and were waiting to be rescued," it said.

To carry out the rescue operation by helicopters, a makeshift helipad was prepared along the river bank. Advanced Light Helicopters were immediately pressed into action from Air Force Station Leh, the IAF said.

To provide medical facilities to the stranded trekkers a medical officer and a medical assistant were also flown from Air Force Station Leh to Niraq. The team has set up a medical assistance camp at Niraq and are providing basic medical assistance to the stranded trekkers, it said. 

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