Theni forest fire: Improvised dollies shifted trekkers writhing in pain

A total of 868 personnel, apart from those from Air Force, were drafted into service for the mission, which was over before Monday noon.

Published: 13th March 2018 05:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2018 08:30 AM   |  A+A-

The massive forest fire in the hills near Korangani, in Theni district on Sunday night. (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: They braved darkness to tread the tough terrain to rescue the ill-fated trekkers trapped in Kurangani forests late on Sunday. Those from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), local police, Special Task Force, Armed Reserve and the Anti-Naxalite Division came as beacons of hopes for the victims.    

“We were able to mobilise trained rescue personnel from southern districts very quickly. They ventured into the forests braving adverse conditions in the night to save many lives,” K Satyagopal, Commissioner for Revenue Administration and Relief Commissioner of TN, told Express on Monday. Using improvised dollies, they shifted the trekkers writhing in pain to plains by using minimum resources at hand.

Relatives of victims unable to control their tears in front of Theni Govt Hospital
mortuary | KK Sundar

A total of 868 personnel, apart from those from Air Force, were drafted into service for the mission, which was over before Monday noon.Satyagopal said 365 SDRF personnel, well trained in rescue operations during natural disasters and emergencies, were called in from southern districts of Madurai, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari as soon as information of the tragedy was received. One Inspector General of Police, two Deputy Inspector General of Police and four Superintendents of Police also swung into action at the fire ravaged.

“The government will hold an inquiry into how the trekkers were allowed into the reserve forest,” Satyagopal said.


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