A tragic incident of a massive forest fire in Theni district of Tamil Nadu injured a number of people. The district caught fire on Sunday, March 11th, 2017.
Around 36 people were caught in the fire. As per the local authorities, majority of them were students. They rescued seven students who were then rushed to the Theni hospital. A few among the people rescued have suffered burn injuries.
The Aerial rescue was said to begin the next morning. According to the District Collector of Theni, among the people caught in fire, there were 25 women and 3 children who went on a trek organised by the Chennai Trekking Club. While returning from the trek, they were trapped in the forest fire.
The group from Erode and Coimbatore was trekking to the Kurangani hills, when they got caught in the fire. “The air force has been pressed into service for rescue operations, which has already been started by locals and forest personnel, who have reached the site,” said the police.
As per the sources in the defence ministry, a MI-17 chopper of the Indian Air Force has already left from Sulur to investigate the situation. In order to access the total damage, an aerial survey is to be conducted. The Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has also left for the location.
The Indian Air Force has been extending complete support to rescue and evacuate the students. It has been instructed by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Chief Minister Palanisami’s request.
“Southern Command is in touch with the Collector of Theni,” tweeted the Defence Minister and 10-15 students have been rescued. They are already on their way down, Ms Sitharaman said.
As per the local authorities, “27 students from Chennai had gone for trekking but they did not take permission from police or the forest department.”
The official from fire department have ensured that Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the location. However, the complete information is still missing as the area lacks good cell phone connectivity.
“One of the members of the trekking team called 108 ambulance service and alerted about their situation”, an official said.