Massive Tamil Nadu forest fire claims 9 lives, rescue operations underway

12 March, 2018, 10:16 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Tamil Nadu 20 students caught in forest fire Indian Air Force pressed into rescue operations

Earlier, on her orders, an Indian Air Force helicopter surveyed the fire-ravaged hills.

The rescue operation had been affected as night had fallen and wild animals had also started leaving the area where the fire was raging in a vast stretch, officials said. If the choppers can't land, the students will be airlifted, the defence minister tweeted. Collector Mariam Pallavi Baldev visited those rescued at the hospital.

In her latest tweet, Sitharaman said she had spoken to the Theni district collector and around 10-15 students were coming down to the foothills. Senior fire service officials also have gone there.

The increased chances of wildfire and lack of rescue facilities inside the forests are the reasons for banning trekking. According to Bodi DSP office, the terrain is hampering communications rendering most phones and mics non-viable. "Rescue operations have been expedited".

The Air Marshal was in Hyderabad on Sunday but had quickly despatched a couple of helicopters from the IAF airbase in Sulur in Coimbatorein western Tamil Nadu at around 7.30 pm. We have been warning people about the forest fire. Some of them had their dresses in tatters and burnt, bodies badly burnt and bruised. "One helicopter has doused the fire", said Nirmala Sitharaman. The sudden spread of fire trapped them.

State Health Secretary J.Radhakrishnan said six of the rescued admitted in a Madurai hospital have suffered serious burn injuries.

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Deputy CM O Paneerselvam visits those rescued from the fire. She said the trekking group consisted of eight men, 25 women and three children. "The group reached Kollukumalai on Saturday morning and camped in an estate". The rescue team immediately got into action to control the blaze and contain it. Students who went trekking in the forest area were trapped in huge forest fire.

"As of now I have not got any information on deaths".

The Minister said he was praying for the fast recovery of those who were injured. Fire and ambulance are on standby.

Forest officials said the girls had not taken permission to enter the forests.

Of those rescued, 18 were injured, Kandasamy said. "There are many places in the forest that are restricted", Dindigul Srinivasan, forest minister, said.

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