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IAF chopper rescues man trapped at Chhattisgarh dam for 12 hours

A 43-year-old man was rescued by an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter on Monday after he was left clinging to a tree for over 12 hours amid overflowing water discharged from a dam in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district, a police official said.

Jitendra Kashyap apparently jumped into the weir (built to remove excess water) of Khutaghat dam on Sunday evening and got swept away in the strong current, Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal told PTI.

He somehow managed to get hold of small rock and a tree where he remained stuck for more than 12 hours before being rescued in the morning, he said.

After getting information about the man being stranded in the weir of the Khutaghat dam, the rescue operation was immediately launched with the support of the State Disaster Response Force team.

Rescue teams of the South Eastern Coalfields Limited and the National Thermal Power Corporation were also roped in, the official said.

“Heavy flow of water and bad weather hampered the rescue operation. As the man was stuck far from the embankment, we could not reach him in the night. We later requested for assistance from the IAF,” he said.

“The MI-17 helicopter took off from Raipur at 5.49 am and airlifted the man at 6.37 am. It took around 20 minutes for the rescue operation before landing back in the state capital at 7.35 am,” the official said.

The man had been admitted in a private hospital in Raipur where his condition was reported to be stable, he said.