Fifteen people from Pathankot and Sujanpur, who remained stranded for entire night on an "island" in the Ravi river, were rescued by an Indian Air Force chopper that came from Udhampur Air Base on the request of Pathankot administration on Saturday.
Most of those rescued were labourers who had gone for mining in the Ravi, reportedly in the J&K territory in the Behrian Pattan area on the Punjab-J&K border, when the level rose in the river after water was released from Ranjit Sagar dam through Madhopur headworks.
The sudden rise in water level left all labourers along with their JCB and tractor trolleys stranded. Later, through their colleagues they sent a message for a help.
Officials from the Pathankot administration rushed the spot late on Friday evening but could do little to rescue them. Seeing them safe on the 'island', the authorities, including DSP (rural) Manoj Kumar, promised them help and asked them wait till Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, an Air Force chopper reached the spot from Udhampur on Saturday morning. In three sorties, chopper pilot Amit Kumar picked all 15 and landed them safely on the other side where the men from administration had been waiting.
Manoj Kumar told HT that all 15 labourers were safe and had gone for work of crusher owners of Behrian village.
"We have been asking people to be cautious while going into rivers as level rises suddenly," he added
The Air Force has carried out second rescue operation in a fortnight as earlier it had saved 12 gujjars in the Bamial area.