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Deoghar ropeway mishap: Garud commando shows humane face; spends night with two children trapped in trolley


In line with the motto of the Indian Air Force – “Touch the Sky with Glory” – an Air Force Garud commando engaged in one of the toughest rescue operations at Trikut Hills ropeway mishap in Jharkhand‘s Deoghar volunteered to stay back and spend Monday night with two traumatised kids who were alone in a trolley suspended mid-air since Sunday 4 pm.

This happened after all those still stranded in mid-air witnessed the death of a fellow passenger who slipped and fell while being winched up in a botched rescue attempt from an Air Force helicopter on Monday.

Despite repeated calls to return from his fellow commandos in a chopper, the Garud commando who could not be identified, said he did not want to leave the two frightened children alone in the trolley, an official said.

Confirming the incident Additional Director General of Police RK Mallick told PTI, “One IAF Garuda commando, finding the two kids alone in the trolley stayed back with them on Monday night. It was the commando’s own decision to remain back and comfort the children.”

On Tuesday morning when the rescue operation resumed, these two kids were rescued first by the team, he said.

However, the name of the commando and the kids could not be known immediately.

A district administration official said that the children were trapped mid-air in trolley number six for about 40 hours spending two nights above dense forest area.

The official said there were four people in the trolley and while two persons had been rescued by the commandos two children remained in it.

When the chopper attempted to rescue these children and the commando came down to their cabin, the rescue operation was called off for the day on Monday, the official added.

NDRF assistant commandant Vinay Kumar Singh, who was on the spot, told PTI, “The commando and men in the chopper had a conversation. The commandos in chopper asked him to return back but he refused saying he cannot leave the children in the trolley for the whole night.”

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said: “A Garud commando spend night in the trolley where there were two children, which definitely shows the compassion of our jawans. I salute the jawans who rescued people, putting their lives in danger.”

IAF’s combat arm – Garud Commando Force – is one of the youngest of the special forces in the country raised with the intention of providing versatile military capability specific to the Indian Air force.

The Garud force has been raised and trained on the lines of the Para commandos of the army and MARCOS of the Navy. During hostilities, Garuds undertake combat rescue, suppression of enemy air defence and other missions while their peace time role include aid during natural calamities, anti-hijacking and military tasks in the interest of the nation.



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