COIMBATORE: A 2-acre sugarcane field was destroyed in a fire when forest department set off firecrackers to chase away wild elephants that tried to enter the field at 8.30 pm on Wednesday. The land belongs to Veerasamy of Sappanimadai near Nallurvayal. Farmers spotted the elephants on Wednesday evening and informed forest department.
A team, along with villagers, tried to scare the animals away using firecrackers and sparks set the sugarcane on fire. Fanned by strong winds, the flames engulfed the field in no time. Because of fading light, sources could not confirm how many elephants tired to raid the crop.
Veerasamy alleeged that Fire and rescue services personnel reached the spot one and half-hours after they were alerted. Admitting that there was a delay, sources in Fire and rescue services department said the team from Thondamuthur was deployed in Nilgiris for the President’s visit, and that they had to depute personnel from Coimbatore.