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Indian peacekeepers turn saviours in Congo
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April 18, 2008 00:03 IST

Timely action by Indian peacekeepers in Congo saved the lives of several injured passengers of a crashed aircraft in the North Kivu province of the African nation, a defence release said in New Delhi.

A rescue team of sixth battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry, led by Commanding Officer Col S A Sharma, rushed along with all available officers and troops of the unit to the location to take control of the situation.

The peacekeepers rescued six survivors from the crashed aircraft and evacuated them to the military hospital.

The passenger plane that crashed on Tuesday into a market in the Birere market area of Goma, the capital of the eastern Congo province of North Kivu, killed 40 people.

The Army personnel also started controlling the crowd, preventing loot of the houses and stopping them from setting shops on fire.

Medical teams and fire fighting resources of the North Kivu Brigade rushed to the site to douse the flames.

The Indian peacekeepers brought the blaze under control and prevented it from spreading to the houses in the thickly populated Birere market area, thereby preventing a major disaster.

The Indian Army personnel along with the Red Cross managed to rescue six survivors and retrieve 18 bodies from the crash site.

Lt Col K S Mathur fought the raging fire and managed to retrieve the flight recorder of the aircraft from its tail end.

The police and civil administration in the North Kivu province is defunct to a great extent due to the raging war between the government of Congo and the negative forces, a defence release said on Thursday.

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