Rescue Operations by Army on Leh-Manali Highway
Large number of landslides and snowslides had trapped vehicles along the strategic Leh-Manali axis from September 21 onwards for nearly a week. The effect was more pronounced near Baralacha La and along the road from Killing-Sarai to Bharatpur. The Army detachments operating from Rumtse, Pang, Sarchu, Patsio and Tandi offered spontaneous help to people stuck at different places providing high altitude warm clothing, shelter, hot meals, medical aid, satellite communication and carrying out physical rescue missions.
A highly specialised and trained Avalanche Panther Rescue Team of Ladakh Scouts was inducted into the affected area for rescue and relief operations. The second Avalanche Rescue Team was also inducted subsequently. One Medical Officer and one Signals Officer were inducted to Patsio for providing medical assistance and communication arrangements to the stranded civilians. In addition medical stores, oxygen cylinders, supplies and rations were also airlifted by Army Aviation into the affected areas.
A total of 124 civilians, including 31 Bhutanese Nationals, 38 Nepalese Nationals and rest Indian tourists were evacuated from Bharatpur to Sarchu and provided medical aid, shelter, warm clothing and hot meals. In addition, 22 civilians including two Australian Nationals present near Sarchu were rescued and provided medical aid. A vehicle-cum-foot patrol launched from Patsio to Suraj Tal evacuated 95 civilians and brought them to Patsio. They were provided immediate medical aid, shelter and warm clothing. Army detachments also cleared the road wherever civilian vehicles were stuck.
- PRO Srinagar