Indian Army doctor saves lives on Mount EverestNew Delhi: For about 70 climbers on Mount Everest base camp, hit by the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Captain Ritesh Goel of the Indian Army was a life saver. Goel, who has also served in the
New Delhi: For about 70 climbers on Mount Everest base camp, hit by the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Captain Ritesh Goel of the Indian Army was a life saver.
Goel, who has also served in the Siachen, was part of the 30-member strong Indian Army expedition team to Mount Everest.
The 28-year-old not only provided first-aid and stabilised nearly 70 climbers, some with broken legs and hands, he also manage 8 casualties with serious head injuries for about 14-hours before they were rescued via helicopters.
"There was a massive avalanche. There was utter chaos at the base camp (17,500 ft) because the avalanche had engulfed a huge part of the base camp," Major General Ajay Sah told reporters here at the Army headquarters.
Giving a description of what transpired, he said the base camp was like a mini city with hundreds of tents.
"Almost half of the base camp was engulfed by the avalanche which was accompanied by high velocity winds. Fortunately, our team had followed basic precaution and had undertaken counter-avalanche drills like posting a look out person," the Maj General said.
The officer explained that the team was able to get out of tents in time and get behind shelter, thus surviving the initial impact.
"A few suffered some minor bruises. Bulk of our tents and storage were either blow away or buried in the snow. Many other team camping in the base camp were not as lucky and were trapped in their tents leading to casualty," he said.
The Army team managed to recover most of their material and Goel set up a small medical aid post.
"There were a few doctors available in the base camp who joined in. They were able to stabilise almost 70 casualties" the Maj General said pointing out that air evacuation could take place only the next day.
They had to manage these casualties for around 14 hours. "Our doctor, who is quite an expert in high altitude medical problem, was able to manage 8 with serious casualties with head injuries," he said.
Goel, who hails from Bangalore, had joined the Indian Army six years ago.