Nightmare journey of Himalaya attack Briton

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The Independent Online

The British engineer beaten unconscious by bandits in the Himalayas finally reached intensive care today after a nightmare journey in which his ambulance smashed into a tree.

The British engineer beaten unconscious by bandits in the Himalayas finally reached intensive care today after a nightmare journey in which his ambulance smashed into a tree.

Martin Young, 32, is in the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi after a dramatic 12-hour road journey from the remote northern Indian state where he was attacked and his Spanish fiancee and her teenage son were murdered.

Officials could not find a flight to transfer him from Tundaghosh, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, to a hospital 225-miles away in the capital, so they used an ambulance.

But on the way it punctured a tyre, lost control, and careered into a tree, said Eddie Foster, a director of the engineering consultancy Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick where Mr Young worked in New Delhi.

Mr Foster said his colleague suffered only "minor bumps" in the crash in addition to those he sustained in the attack, but the ambulance could not be repaired and there was a delay finding a replacement.

He said Mr Young was cut and bruised, and had a gash on his head. His jaw was broken and he suffered cracked ribs, but was now resting for the first time in the three nights since the attack.

While Mr Young's mother attempts to obtain an emergency visa to fly from Britain to visit her son, local police are stepping up their hunt for the bandits and are reported to have sealed off the valley where the attack happened.

Police based in the nearby town of Kullu believe local villagers are to blame for the raid, with the sole motive being robbery. A total of £340 cash and a camera were stolen.

Mr Young was asleep in his tent when the attackers struck on Friday night. He and his fellow trekkers were beaten with rods and sticks and then pushed into a gorge.

His fiancee, Maria Angeles Girones, 34, and her son Cristobal, 14, were killed.

Mr Young regained consciousness the next day and scrambled out of the gorge, where he was helped by a passing milkman.

He had been working in India for the past eight months and was due to return to Britain soon.

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