Tragedy struck Tamil Nadu as five trekkers were reportedly killed in the massive forest fire that broke out in the Theni district's Kurangani hills on Sunday. However, at least 27 people were rescued and injured were admitted to a nearby hospital, stated a report by The New Indian Express. Out of the 27 rescued trekkers, five are said to have sustained severe burn injuries. At least 36 people, mostly students, went trekking in the Bodi forest area in the district, state reports.
On Sunday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has tweeted that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been rushed to carryout rescue operations and 10-15 students have been rescued.
"Responding to request from Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami on forest -fire related issue- 20 students are caught in Kurangani, Theni. Instructed Indian Air Force to help in rescue & evacuation. Southern Command is in touch with Collector of Theni..Just now I have spoken to District Collector. He communicated that 10-15 students have been rescued. They are coming down from the hill. Operation continues," Sitharaman said in her tweets.
Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam has also rushed to the spot. Several students trekking in Kurankani hills in Theni were caught in the forest fire. Fire tenders have also reached the spot to rescue the students, an HT report said.