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200 tourists rescued from forest fire  Mar 09, 2009

Udhagamandalam - About 200 tourists, who were caught in a forest fire near Coonoor, have been rescued, official sources said on Monday.

The forest department has suspended tourism activities, following the incident, the sources said.

The fire, which was noticed in the early hours of Monday, had spread from Lampsrock on one side and Dolphin Nose (both tourist spots) on the other, around noon, as tourists in buses arrived for sight-seeing in the Coonoor forest range.

Seeing the fire spreading, the tourists became panicky and forest department officials assisted by fire force personnel and local people brought them out of the forest.

While a tourtist's motorcycle was gutted in the fire, several tourists developed nausea and itching in the eyes, due to the smoke emanating from the fire.

Some 500 acres of forest area were damaged in the fire, the sources said.

Forest fires have been destroying the green cover in the Nilgiris district over the past two months.

200 tourists rescued from forest fire
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