An Indian Army rescue team that reached near Cherad hill in Malampuzha of Palakkad in Kerala spoke with Babu, a 23-year-old trekker who was stranded on a cliff. The rescue teams of Army and National Disaster Rescue Force are almost near the spot where Babu has been stranded for the last 40 hours without food and water. The Army personnel who reached close to him called out, and told him not to worry and that they were nearby. The Army officials were also heard asking Babu not to shout back and lose energy, and assuring him that they will be rescuing him at the earliest.
A team of nine members, two Army Officers, two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and five other ranks from Wellington reached the spot past midnight to join the rescue mission. Another Air Force team and a mountaineering Army team from Bengaluru have reached the spot and joined the rescue mission. An Army team from Ooty had also joined the mission. Authorities informed that Babu will be rescued before the end of Wednesday, February 9. A base camp has been functioning below the hill coordinating rescue activities.
Apart from the defence teams, a 20-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has also reached the top of the hill. The rescue teams have been trying different paths in the hill to reach the spot. While one team is climbing from above, another has been climbing from below. The height of the hill is said to be around 1000 metres, and Babu is stuck 600 metres away from the base and 400 metres from the top of the hill.
Information from the Press Information Bureau (Defence Wing) informed that on Tuesday, the Indian Coast Guardâ€™s Chetak Helicopter attempted a rescue operation, but due to inclement weather, was unable to complete the mission. The Coast Guard Helicopter will be attempting the next sortie in the early hours of Wednesday, a release said.
Some of the rescue team members had told the media that they saw Babu on Tuesday crying and asking for food and water. But none of them could provide him with water or food.
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 a 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.