Coimbatore: Air force commandos from Sulur air base in the suburbs of Coimbatore took up a 16-hour air rescue operation at Kurangani hills in Theni district and saved 25 lives from the forest fire affected area.
According to a source here, following a request made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Union Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to the Air Force higher officials at Thiruvananthapuram and arranged two helicopters along with 21 commandos from the Sulur air base in Coimbatore.
They started the operation at around 2.30 am after landing at the Kurangani hills on Monday. Two more helicopters were sent to the spot within a few hours for further assistance.
At the end of the 16-hour air rescue operation, 25 injured persons were rescued in time and sent to nearby hospitals in Theni and Madurai, the source said. The entire rescue operation came to an end at around 6 pm on Monday and the team returned to Sulur within a few hours.Higher officials from Sulur IAF base honored the ‘Garud team’ commandos for their brave rescue action under very trying circumstances in the Western Ghats.