Over 20 students caught in forest fire in Theni

12 March, 2018, 05:03 | Author: Dustin Murphy
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According to sources, 40 students were trekking in the mountainous forest area when the fire broke out.

Updating on the incident Sitharaman said that 10-15 students have been rescued. The rescue team immediately got into action to control the blaze and contain it.

Ten to 15 out of several students trapped in a forest fire in Tamil Nadu's Theni have been rescued, Defence Minister Nirmalal Sitharaman said. This decision was taken in response to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami who requested the help of the IAF.

As of 6am on Monday, 21 people were rescued and at least 10 of them had severe burn injuries. They were on their way back to Kurangani hills when they got caught in the fire. "Operation continues", reads Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's tweet on the forest fire in Tamil Nadu. "As preliminary information, we have learnt that five trekkers are dead and some are missing".


"The Southern Command is in touch with Collector of Theni", she said. They had gone in batches to spend the weekend in the forest and planned to return Sunday evening. "Normally such expeditions are not allowed at this time of the year because of recurring forest fires", said H Basavaraju, Principal Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu.

Speaking while on his way to Bodi to meet survivors at the government hospital, Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam said that the task of rescuing the trekkers is being accelerated and has been happening at a fast pace. The Indian Air Force, which has been pressed into service for rescue operations, is sending a helicopter to the affected area. Firefighters, forest officials, police, have been called from neighbouring districts with necessary equipment. Police and workers in a nearby tea estate are also helping.

A report from Coimbatore, quoting police, said two IAF "Sarang" helicopters from Sulur have left for Kurangani forest.

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