Kolahoi Glacier Mishap: Bodies Of KAS Officer, Trekker Handed Over

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Srinagar: In the Kolahoi glacier mishap, the bodies of KAS officer, another trekker
was handed over to families for last rites. The bodies of on Sunday afternoon were
handed over to their respective families after conducting all legal formalities.

“Both the bodies were handed over to their respective families for last rites after
conducting all legal formalities,” an official of the Disaster Management said.

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Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended when the bodies of the duo were reached to
their respective homes in Old City Srinagar.

Earlier, the bodies of the two trekkers KAS officer Naveed Jeelani and Adil Shah of
Alpine Group were retrieved today and airlifted to Srinagar from the Kolahoi
Glacier in Pahalgam on Sunday.

Both Jeelani and Adil Shah were killed while another trekker Hazik Beigh was injured when the trio fell in the crevice at the 4,500- meter-high Kolahoi Glacier on Friday.

Soon after the incident, a rescue operation was launched by police and SDRF to retrieve the bodies. But on Sunday IAF was pressed into service by the administration.

According to a press release by the Press Information Bureau (Defence Wing), Government of India, Hazik Mushtaq Beigh and his friends were trekking in the Kolahai Glacier area when the team fell in a crevasse; two of the team were fatally injured. Hazik suffered injuries which required his immediate evacuation to a medical facility.

​Western Air Command of Indian Airforce launched two Cheetah helicopters, of the Udhampur based Hovering Hawks unit who happened to be at Srinagar at that point. Two choppers were necessary due to the inhospitable terrain and the poor weather conditions in the general area of operations. The leader of Falcon formation was Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta with Flt Lt Mittal as the co-pilot. The plan was to winch the casualty into the heptr as no suitable landing site was available.

Upon reaching the site Wg Cdr Mehta realised that Hazik could not be winched due to his serious injuries, so both heptrs flew to Awantipur and removed the side doors, picked up a guide enroute from Lidru and reached the spot once again. The weather during the entire period was marginal.The elevation of the place is 12000ft which added to the piloting difficulties of the small heptr. The captain of the lead aircraft Mehta decided to find a small spot of flat land nearby and touchdown.

Having picked up Hazik both heptrs flew back to base. “The spot was such it did not offer any place to land, we had established that winching the casualty was out of question, hence only one option was left. I told my wingman to orbit overhead while I tried to land on a small flat land. The landing called upon my entire experience and training as a helicopter pilot. It was immensely satisfying when Hazik was saved” said the mission leader and captain of the lead aircraft Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta.

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