3 forest watchers killed in wildfire in Kerala

Three forest watchers were killed in Kerala’s Thrissur district when a wildfire spread at Vdakkancherry, officials said.

Poongodu forest station watcher K U Divakaran (43), temporary watcher A K Velayudhan (54) and temporary forest watcher Vattaparambilveetil V A Shankaran (46) died during a bid to douse the wildfire that had spread at the HNL plantation.

“Two other officials also suffered burns and have been admitted to Thrissur Medical college hospital,” officials said.

“The department has allotted preliminary monetary assistance to the families of the deceased. Compensation for the families of the deceased and the injured will be decided soon,” Kerala Forest minister K Raju said in a statement expressing his condolences.

The press release also said the plantation was taken under lease by the HNL group.

“It appears that lack of precautions to stop wildfires have caused the accident,” the release said, adding that fire responder vehicles from the district were trying to douse the fire which had engulfed the area.

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