IAF evacuates 14,600 stranded people in J

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Chandigarh, Feb 20 (UNI) The Indian Air Force has evacuated 14,600 people who were stranded on either side of Pir Panjal and in villages following unprecedented snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir.

A defence spokesman today said the snowfall during the last few days led to closure of the vital Srinagar-Jammu highway and stranded thousands of people.

The arduous task of airlifting men and material to and from affected areas and evacuation of stranded people needed a herculean effort.

The Indian Air Force, true to its tradition, took action and in a matter of less than one week provided timely relief and evacuated 14,600 people.

Two of the mighty Himalayan jets popularly known as IL-76 and four AN-32 medium transport aircraft of Indian Air Force were pressed into service round the clock, the spokesman said.

The aircraft belonged to Chandigarh airbase and the staging bases were Srinagar, Udhampur and Jammu.

The helicopters of Indian Air Force flew to far-flung and remote corners of J and K and served thousands of civilians, which was highly appreciated by one and all, he said.

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