25 students trapped in Tamil Nadu forest fire, Air Force called in

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 11, 2018, 02:21 PM(IST)

The forest fire occurred in Kurangani village in Tamil Nadu's Theni district. Photograph:( ANI )

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The Indian Air Force has been deployed for help in rescue and evacuation, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said

Four students were on Sunday killed in a sudden forest fire that broke out in the Kurangani hills in Tamil Nadu's Theni district.

Madurai circle conservator of forests RK Jagenia confirmed the deaths to a media outlet.

Around 25 students on a mountain climbing training camp were trapped in the sudden forest fire, officials said.

Twelve students have been rescued by local tribals and fire and rescue service and forest personnel and efforts were on to evacuate others, officials said.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said earlier that she had spoken to the district collector who communicated that 10-15 students had been rescued.

"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," Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The defence minister had tweeted she was responding to a request for help from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and had instructed the Indian Air Force for help in rescue and evacuation.

 

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Police said the students from Coimbatore and Erode were taking training in Kurangai-Kozhuku Hill area when the fire suddenly broke out around noon.

Fire tenders also reached the spot to rescue the students, reports said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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