New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI) The Leh-based helicopter unit of the Indian Air Force has rescued two foreign nationals
from the higher reaches of Padam valley in Zanskar ranges of Ladakh, IAF sources said here today.
Some of the members of a nine-member trekking expedition comprising Czech and Slovakian nationals, developed high altitude sickness while camping in Shinkun La area, around 60 km south-east of Padam in Ladakh.
While one member of the team succumbed to illness, two of them- Kristina Chnapekova and Valasske Mezrici, Slovak and Czech nationals respectively, developed critical complications, following which the team requested for emergency air rescue through their embassy here, the sources said.
The 114 Helicopter Unit, nicknamed Siachen Pioneers, of the IAF was soon pressed into service
on Monday and a two helicopter rescue team led by Wing Commander A S Rajput was tasked to complete the mission.
The mission which included restricted landing site, negligible reserve of power, limited availability of day light, valley clearance and unprepared landing site
was personally supervised by Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of Leh Air Force Station Air Commodore S P Wagle.
The casualty evacuation took place at an altitude of 17000 feet and the helicopter team landed back well beyond the sunset time almost in darkness.
IAF helicopter unit rescues two foreign nationals in Leh - *
the helicopters used were "hal cheetals"