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Briton Leslie Binns abandons Everest peak to save fellow Indian climber

A British ex-soldier who lost his one eye during an explosion in Afghanistan abandoned his dream to reach the peak of Everest to save an Indian woman’s life who was about to die due to lack of oxygen gas.

Leslie Binns, 42, was approaching an area nicknamed 'The Balcony'- where climbing teams store spare oxygen bottles - when he noticed a"commotion" ahead of him.

"I noticed someone sliding down the fixed climbing lines towards me. All I could hear were the screams of terror as the person gained momentum. I braced myself to try and stop whoever it was, and managed to do so. At this time I didn't know that this was Sunita Hazra, I helped her upright and looked at her oxygen regulator. It was registering empty." Says Mr.Binns while he was describing the incident to BBC.

Sunita Hazra,32 who is a mother says that she owes her life to him. The brave soldier was only 500 metres away from the destination when he decided to abandon his mission and help the woman.

On the way down, they met another stricken climber who joined them but due to exhaustion, they were unable to get him to the camp after an exhausting descent.

Leslie says he is happy that he helped Sunita, but he also regrets that he was not able to do anything more for him and did his tried his level best to rescue him.

The brave man, who has climbed"all the major peaks in the UK", is now in Kathmandu and due to return to the UK to see his fiancée and daughter on 6 June, meanwhile Sunita recovered from her condition and left the hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Leslie was in the Army for 13 years, serving in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and was blown up four times. He has been awarded two medals, including the Queen's Commendation for Bravery for finding improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan in 2009.


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