Army rescues Kerala trekker trapped on hill for two days
The Indian Army on Wednesday rescued a trekker stuck for nearly two days on a hill between rocks in the Malampuzha district of Palakkad, Kerala. In the videos that emerged after the rescue, R Babu (23) can be seen thanking the army personnel. The clips also show him planting kisses on the cheeks of personnel as a gesture of gratitude.
Why does the story matter?
Since Monday, R Babu was stuck in the hill without food and water. The Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were involved in the rescue mission, which is hailed as one of the biggest in recent memory. Previous attempts, including a Coast Guard helicopter, to rescue the trekker failed which prompted the Chief Minister of Kerala to intervene.
Watch the video here
How did the trekker get stuck?
Babu and his friends climbed up the Kurumbachi hills in Cheradu, Palakkad, on Monday. While trekking down, Babu stumbled on the rocks and fell into a gorge. Despite their best efforts, his friends were unable to rescue him. They then informed the cops. Initially, the local police and fire brigade were called for rescue but it was deemed difficult for them.
Kerala CM requested army to intervene
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan intervened and requested the Army's assistance in rescuing the youth. "Efforts are in full swing to rescue the youth trapped in #Malampuzha Cherat hill. There are currently two units of the @adgpi at the scene. Army members were able to talk to him. The rescue operation will be intensified today. @IAF_MCC helicopter is ready to be deployed," he tweeted.
Specialized team in mountaineering arrived from Bengaluru
According to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Lieutenant General Arun of the Army's Southern Command notified that a specialized team in mountaineering and rescue will be departing from Bengaluru. As per reports, an NDRF crew was attempting to reach the youth who looked to be sitting in a small recess on the mountain face after the Coast Guard efforts failed.
Obstructions in rescue attempts
A member of one of the rescue teams told a news channel that while the heat is searing and terrible during the day, it turns windy and chilly in the evenings and late nights, and even wild animals roam the area, obstructing rescue attempts. Another squad was on its way to rescue the teen, according to the rescuer.
CM thanks officials
After the rescue, the CM thanked the officials for their support. "Worries have been put to rest as the young man trapped in the Cherad hill in Malampuzha has been rescued. The treatment & care needed to regain his health will be provided now. Thanks to the soldiers who led the rescue operation and everyone who provided timely support," Vijayan tweeted.