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12 March 2018, 05:03 | Tara Lloyd
Over 20 college students trapped in forest fire in TN, rescue operation on
However, by afternoon the trekkers were caught in the forest fire. She said, "Just now I have spoken to District Collector". As per the latest updates coming in, 1 student has unfortunately lost his life while around 10-15 students have been rescued. The Indian Air Force, which has been pressed into service for rescue operations, is sending a helicopter to the affected area. The whereabouts of eight people were unknown at the time of writing.
The rescue operation is still continuing.
A relative of a woman injured in the fire told The Indian Express that she had gone trekking along with her two children.
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Rescue had to slow down because of nightfall.
One MI-17 helicopter was en route from Sulur to assess the situation and provide necessary assistance, sources in the Defence Ministry said, adding that the helicopter may undertake another operation on Monday morning. Alleging that miscreants were behind the fire at Kurangani, Palaniswami said forest department will strengthen security in forest areas after a review. Some of them had their dresses in tatters and burnt. So far the cause of the fire is still not known.
Vijayalakshmi, one of the trekker from Chennai, who has escaped from the fire said that the fire started to spread from the downhills when they were having lunch.
"Medicines and food also have been sent to the spot".
Deputy CM O Paneerselvam visits those rescued from the fire. "They had entered the forests from Munnar side of Kerala and were trekking down to Theni through the forests".
Speaking to IANS, Pallavi Baldev said the rescue operations were continuing and the trekkers were being brought down by the rescue team members. Seven students who suffered burn injuries have been admitted to the Government Hospital at Bodinayakanur in Theni, said the Station House officer, Inter State Intelligence Wing, Theni.
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