|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
IAF rescue over 24,000 in J&K
February 22, 2005 16:22 IST
In one of the Indian Air Force's biggest day-and-night rescue operations, it airlifted over 24,000 army jawans and civilians trapped in different snow-hit regions of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
"We delivered 50 tonnes of essentials like medicines, food grains, vegetables, blankets, oil and petroleum products to different affected areas till 11 am on Tuesday," Udhampur-based Station Commander Manavendra Singh said.
Forty-eight foreign tourists, 20,200 army troops, 3,000 Border Security Force personnel and over 900 civilians have been ferried to safety so far, he added.
"Our choppers flew over various avalanche-hit areas to drop essential commodities to the people on Tuesday," Singh said.
The IAF has pressed into services nine choppers, three Il-76s and four AN-32s.
Following the rising number of casualties in J&K, the IAF has put all its stations in northern India on high alert.
Meanwhile, Kashmir remained cut off from the rest of the country for the fifth consecutive day because of heavy snowfall, the worst in 15 years. Seventy-three people have been killed in Anantnag district since Sunday in avalanches.
Air links were restored with Indian Airlines operating three flights from Srinagar airport.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis