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Theni forest fire: IAF concludes rescue operations at Bodi forest

A team of 35 IAF personnel, including a medical team, based at Sulur Airbase in Coimbatore was pressed in for the rescue operation after 39 trekkers including 3 kids were trapped in the fire.

Published: 12th March 2018 12:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2018 12:53 PM   |  A+A-

An IAF chopper helps douse the fire in Korangani reserve forest where 9 trekkers lost their lives. (K K Sundar | EPS)

Express News Service

BODI: After six hours of intensive search, Indian Air Force Commandos Monday concluded the rescue operations for trekkers stranded in the forest fire at Korangani reserve forest in Theni district.

A team of 35 IAF personnel, including a medical team, based at Sulur Airbase in Coimbatore was pressed in for the rescue operation after 39 trekkers including 3 kids were caught in a forest fire on Sunday.

The team started its search mission on Monday morning at 5.17 am using the GPS location obtained through an aerial survey which was conducted by an IAF chopper on Sunday night at Kurangani forests. The stranded trekkers signaled the IAF choppers using their torch and mobile lights.

Apart from that, two choppers were involved in controlling the fire by spraying fire extinguishing chemicals and one chopper was involved in the search mission.

Following this, 10 trekkers with grievous injuries were brought down from the hill and were taken to Bodi, Theni and Madurai.

They also found the nine bodies and alerted the ground team headed by Theni SP Jeyaraman, who subsequently, collected and identified them.

A group of Garud commandoes conducting the search operation in Theni forest where a fire killed 9 trekkers. (K K Sundar | EPS)

The IAF continued its search for debris and missing persons for another 2 hours and around by 11 am, the IAF declared the search mission was concluded.

The nine dead bodies were brought to Kurangani primary health centre and then were taken to Theni Medical College Hospital for identity verification.



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