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Glacial burst wrecks havoc on its downhill path

Glacial burst wrecks havoc on its downhill path Sumesh Rajan Mumbai: 7 February 2021  A glacial burst in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state in India on February 7 has caused massive havoc on its downhill path along the Dhauliganga and Rishiganga rivers.  The disaster occured after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Joshimath in Uttarakhand.  The Tapovan power plant being constructed over the Dhauligana river and the Rishiganga power project across the Rishiganga river -- a tributary of Dhauliganga -- have been damaged completely with sludge overwhelming the projects, say local officials.  Over 150 people are said to have lost their lives in this disaster and scores are missing. Ten bodies have been recovered so far from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) power project site at Tapovan, said the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials. The missing persons are believed to be labourers working at the dam sites and villagers along the river. T

Rescuers save 12-year-old boy whose neck got ‘locked’ under 1.5-tonne boulders



Sumesh Rajan
Mumbai: 13 July 2020

In a herculean task, rescue workers in Tamil Nadu state of India, rescued a 12-year-old boy who got stuck under heavy boulders weighing over 1.5 tonnes on July 12.

In the morning hours, Adithya Veerachamy was herding his family goats in the hilly pastures outside his village – Mela Kothampatti in Tiruchirappalli district. Sitting atop a hillock he was fidgeting with his mobile phone when it slipped off his hand and fell through a crack in the rocks. Trying to retrieve the phone, Adithya put his head through the crevice and tried to grab the phone by his hands. Unfortunately, the heavy boulders slipped and trapped his body. Unable to move he lay motionless for a couple hours before some villagers passing by noticed his legs jutting out, and called the nearest fire and rescue staff for help.


“We received a call from the villagers at around 11.30 am and rushed to spot. There we found the boy trapped waist upwards beneath three heavy boulders each weighing over 1.5 tonnes. It seems that to retrieve his phone, the boy tried to slide through the narrow crevice head downwards. But, while doing so, the boulders got loosened and locked him in. With the boulders closing around his neck, the boy’s head was stuck inside,” informed Lead Fireman P V Satish Kumar of Thuraiyur Fire & Rescue Department who along with his team of eight members carried out the rescue under the guidance of Station Officer R Arivazhagan.

He added, “As the spot was atop a hillock about 200 feet high, it was not possible to take the help of a crane or JCB to lift the boulders. Hence, we decided to coil the boulders with industrial rope and lift all three of them at one go. With the help of the villagers who had gathered there in large numbers, we were able to loosen the boulders and get the boy’s head out.”

“It was not an easy task. It had to crawl into the narrow gap between the boulders. And as my team members along with villagers with their combine strength tugged at the boulders loosening the gap a bit, I had to cautiously pull out the boy so as to not to cause any injury to his neck or head,” said Satish Kumar.

“The rescue operation lasted about an hour, and the boy was rescued safely. As he was dehydrated, doctors gave him glucose after which he was sent home,” said Station Officer R Arivazhagan. 

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