Rescued hiker discharged from hospital

Babu thanks everyone for bringing him back to life

R. Babu, the 23-year-old hiker who was rescued by the Indian Army after he slipped and got stuck in a crevice while climbing the steep Cherad Hill at Malampuzha, rejoined his family on Friday.

He was discharged from the District Hospital, where he received an emotional farewell from doctors, nurses and other hospital staff. Earlier, District Collector Mrunmai Joshi and District Medical Officer K.P. Reetha greeted him at the hospital.

Before leaving the hospital, Babu thanked everyone for bringing him back to life. He was particularly thankful to the Army team that rescued him, especially soldier Bala, aka Balakrishnan, who climbed down with the help of a rope and lifted him from the crevice.

Babu said he had scaled the Cherad Hill three times. He had climbed almost all the hills in Malampuzha. “I want to trek again,” he said when District Information Officer Priya Unnikrishnan asked him if he still had the passion for trekking.

Babu met with an accident while climbing the hill along with his friends on Monday morning. As he slipped and fell into the crevice, he suffered a minor injury to his knee, which made him immobile in the cleft. His friends’ attempts to rescue him failed and they returned to the plains. Meanwhile, Babu alerted through Facebook that he was stuck in the crevice and sought help.

Attempts by the district administration to rescue Babu with the help of the Fire and Rescue Services, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police and forest personnel, and other voluntary groups failed as the terrain posed a heavy challenge.

The Army was called in by Tuesday night. A mountaineering specialist team of the Army rescued Babu on Wednesday morning and he was airlifted by an Air Force helicopter. The rescue, which took place nearly after two days Babu spent in the crevice without food and water, had got nationwide media attention.

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