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IANS

In a late night operation past midnight, the Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted a seriously injured Border Security Force (BSF) personnel from Krishnanagar in the Nadia district of West Bengal to Kolkata on Sunday.

Constable Shabir Ahmad Wani of the 141Bn BSF was on duty on a Char (large sandbank) along the India-Bangladesh border in Jalangi, Murshidabad, when a tractor toppled on its side, trapping him underneath.

"He was rescued and rushed to the Behrampore Medical College and Hospital. Doctors there detected multiple fractures and spine injury. They said that he should be shifted to Kolkata immediately. It was evening by then. We contacted the IAF immediately. They told us to start moving towards Kolkata by road with the patient while preparations for the airlift were made. When we reached Krishnanagar, the IAF informed us that a helicopter had been assigned to pick him up from there," a senior BSF official of the South Bengal Frontier said.

Meanwhile, a Mi-17V5 helicopter from the 157 Helicopter Unit of the IAF, based at Barrackpore, took off with an air ambulance configuration with a qualified medical team on board.

"This was at night and we had to land and take off from an unfamiliar helipad. The experienced pilots accomplished the mission using Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) and other aids. It was after midnight when Wani was handed over to a medical team waiting at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. The transfer from Krishnanagar took a few minutes. By road, it would have taken several hours," an IAF official said.

Constable Wani has been admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata where doctors said that his injuries are serious. He is stable though.

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