IAF Airlifts 13,000 Troops, Stranded Passengers
20 February 2005
The Times of India
Srinagar: In a massive rescue operation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) braved inclement weather and unfavourable flying conditions to airlift 13,000 troops and some passengers stranded along the national highway in J&K. Northern Air Command base station officer-in-charge Group Captain Manvendra Singh said more than 13,000 troops had been ferried from Jammu to Srinagar and other places and some stranded passengers were airlifted to Jammu from Banihal. 'But bad weather and snowfall had prevented the IAF from airlifting passengers stranded on the highway,' he said. Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar highway was partially reopened, paving the way for evacuation of 1,100 stranded passengers. 'The highway has been partially re-opened for traffic despite bad weather and red alert by the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment,' J&K information director Farooq Renzoo said.