Theni fire: No information on casualty, says DC

Michele Moreno
March 12, 2018

At least 4 young trekkers who were part of a Women's Day trek organised to Kurangani area in Tamil Nadu's Theni district were charred to death in a forest fire on Sunday.

Updating on the incident Sitharaman said that 10-15 students have been rescued.

Rescue operations were being taken up by the fire and forest department officials with the Indian Airforce sending two helicopters on the directives of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after she was approached for help by Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Theni collector Pallavi Baldev said all government machinery has been pressed into action.

Kurangani hills is located near Bodinayakanur in southern Tamil Nadu. "It seems they were planning to trek down to Bodi town but were trapped in the forest fire", said H. Basavaraju, Principal Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu. "We have dispatched 40 of our personnel for rescue operation". They are coming down from the hill. Instructed Indian Air Force to help in rescue & evacuation.

Stating that the cause of the fire was not known, he said efforts would be taken to strengthen the forest area security further.

Vijayalakshmi, one of the trekker from Chennai, who has escaped from the fire said that the fire started to spread from the downhills when they were having lunch. "Fifteen people have suffered burn injuries", she said.

The rescue operation is still continuing.

The commandos, having access to advanced communication facilities, will also check about the landing facility for the helicopter on Monday morning or decide on other ways of evacuating those stuck on the spot, including the injured, Sitharaman added.

A medical team had been sent to the spot and employees of a nearby private tea estate were also assisting in the rescue operations, she said quoting the collector.

A fire service official from Theni told IANS that ambulances and fire tenders have been sent to the spot. Firefighters, forest officials, police, have been called from neighbouring districts with necessary equipment.

Other reports by Insurance News

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