DODA: On the night of 22nd Jan 2012, at 8.20 pm Commanding Officer of 8 Rashtriya Rifles Col Abdul Hamid Khan received an SOS call from DC, Doda. 11 workers of PHE Department belonging to village Al, who had moved to upper reaches of Alkanda region during the day for repair of water supply system, were trapped in snow.
The workers somehow managed to pass information to their department. This thickly forested area is known to be avalanche prone and their immediate evacuation was necessary to save their lives. DC therefore immediately contacted the Army Unit. Without wasting time Col Khan ordered move of 20 men from nearest post at Udyanpur who left at 8.45 pm alongwith a nursing assistant and emergency life saving medicines.
They also carried rescue equipment, warm clothes and packaged food for the trapped persons. After walking for more than 7 hours in the chest deep snow, with the help of ropes, the team finally reached the site at 4.00 am. They found 5 of the trapped workers in extremely critical condition due to the cold effect. The team immediately took control of the situation, took out the workers, lighted the fire and gave them first aid. They also provided them warm clothes.
Tea was prepared and food was warmed for them. After an effort of two hours the workers could be resuscitated and were brought out of danger. On daybreak the army men supported these workers through the snow and brought them to village Al where they were received by the large crowd of villagers.
Near and dear ones of workers were happy to see them return. Mr Farooq Ahmad Khan, DC Doda appreciated the efforts of 8 RR for speedy and timely assistance for the rescue operation and in turn saving 11 precious lives.