Nearly 45 hours after 23-year-old Babu, a trekker was stranded on a cliff in Kurumbachi hill in Keralaâ€™s Palakkad district, Army officials were finally able to airlift and rescue him, on Wednesday, February 9. According to reports, he has sustained a minor injury on his knee. He was also given water and food earlier this morning.
The trekker was stuck in a small cavity in the cliffside, which was barely big enough for him to squat in, since Monday, February 7. A team of seventy-five persons, including three army units, Air Force personnel and 20 officials of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), led by Colonel Sekhar Athri were involved in the rescue operation. Lieutenant Colonel Hemanth Raj, who knows Malayalam, was also a part of the team in order to communicate with Babu.
Babu himself made it possible for the rescuers to find him, as he had sent pictures of the small cliffside cavity to his family via WhatsApp. His family then forwarded them to officials, who were able to take action. The rescue was also made possible because of Babuâ€™s cooperation with the rescue operation despite him being exhausted.
Army and NDRF officials trying to rescue Babu
R Babu, a native of Cherad in Malampuzha, was trekking along the Kurumbachi hill along with his friends, when he reportedly slipped and fell into the cavity, which is in a steep gorge. His friends had tried to save him using logs, sticks and ropes, and when it proved futile, they sought the help of the locals and the police. The fire brigade and Malampuzha police reached the spot around 12 am on Tuesday, but the team had to just camp there, as the rescue operation could not commence due to lack of light.
Drone shot of Babu being rescued! It took ~45 hours, 75 persons and Babu's unwavering will power to bring him to the top. After trekker Babu slipped and fell in the Kurumbachi hills, he was stuck in a small cavity in the cliffside since Monday. pic.twitter.com/373pfs9fndâ€” azeefa (@AzeefaFathima) February 9, 2022
Meanwhile, as they could not reach Babu on Tuesday morning, things got serious. Drones were used to spot him in the steep hill and he was spotted squatting inside a cavity on the hill. A Coast Guard helicopter from Kochi was sent in to rescue him, but the chopper could not go anywhere close to the gap that Babu was stuck in. Additionally, Palakkad Collector Mrunmayi Joshi Shashank sought the help of the Navy to carry out the rescue operation with 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. As Babu was trapped without food and water for over 26 hours, and the fact that he was exposed to the heat and cold, time was of essence. In light of this, the Kerala Chief Minister sought the help of the Indian Army on Tuesday night to help rescue the youth.
Meanwhile, the Army personnel who reached close to him this morning called out and told Babu 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.