UPDATE: Kerala trekker stranded on cliff rescued by Army and NDRF after nearly 40 hours
Rescue officials in Kerala are in quite a tizzy. Their latest mission is to rescue a 23-year-old tourist stuck inside a small cavity on the side of a steep hill. But it is no easy task. For the past 28 hours, three different rescue teams have tried to save R Babu, a native of Cherad in Malampuzha, who has been trapped without food and water inside a small cavity on the side of the steep Kurumbachi hill and the Kerala Chief Minister has now asked the Indian Army to try and save the youth.
On Monday, February 7, Babu and three of his friends went on a hiking trip to Kurumbachi. On their way down, however, Babu slipped and fell, and found himself stuck inside the small cavity that was just enough for him to squat and sit inside. Babuâ€™s friends tried everything â€” wooden sticks, logs, ropes, but Babu could not climb up. His friends then went down the hill and informed the local residents and the police.
The fire brigade and Malampuzha police reached the spot around 12 am, but the team had to just camp there, as the rescue operation could not commence due to lack of light. In the morning, they tried to rescue Babu, but he was quite out of reach. Visuals from the spot show Babu squatting in a small cavity on the side of the hill, and rescue officials are trying to reach him from above the hill. It was not easy to spot him either, drones had to be sent up the side of the hill to try and find where he had been stuck.
But when a Coast Guard helicopter from Kochi tried to go and rescue him, the chopper could not go anywhere close to the gap that Babu was stuck in.
Then, Palakkad Collector Mrunmayi Joshi Shashank sought the help of the Navy to carry out the rescue operation by the Navy helicopter. A rope was lowered from the helicopter, so that Babu could catch hold of it and come up. However, that did not work either. The helicopter circled the gap for a while, but had to return as Babu was out of reach.
Now, a team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has reached the spot to try and reach the 23-year-old.
Selfies that Babu sent from the hill
Babuâ€™s relatives are anxious and angry that rescue officials have been not able to send food or water down to Babu. However, to their relief, a rescuer has informed them that Babu is responsive.
After a full dayâ€™s attempts to rescue Babu went in vain, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stepped in. He asked the Indian Army to help rescue the youth. Commanding (GOC) of Dakshin Bharat area Lieutenant General A Arun informed the Chief Minister's Office that an Army Special Forces team from Bengaluru has started for the location immediately. The team, which specializes in mountaineering and rescue, has set out by road as travel via helicopter is impossible at night. The Chief Ministerâ€™s office has also been informed that another unit of the Army will leave Wellington at 7.30 pm.
For the past 26 hours and counting, rescue officials are in #Kerala trying to get to this 23-year-old trekker stuck in a cavity on the side of a hill. So far, they haven't been able to reach him. Kerala CM has now asked Indian Army for help. pic.twitter.com/tOf7dBKfCQâ€” Sanyukta (@dramadhikari) February 8, 2022