TAMIL NADU — At least five of the 40 college students who were trapped in a massive forest fire that broke out in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Sunday have died.
The students were trapped in a forest fire in the hills above Kurangani, a tourist spot in the Western Ghats of Theni district on Sunday evening, local media reported. The five trekkers died of burn injuries, officials said.
Thirty of them have been rescued and taken to hospital. Search and rescue operations for the other missing trekkers continued overnight. The Indian Air Force, which has been pressed into service for rescue operations, is sending a helicopter to the affected area.
A fire broke broke out in Kurangini hills in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district when a group, which had 25 women and 3 children, went on a trek organised by the Chennai Trekking Club.
According to preliminary reports, the students were climbing down the hills from Munnar in Kerala to Theni on their own.Follow @gorkhapost
Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely
COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.
The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.
“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.