Andhra Pradesh

‘Fire services personnel saved more than 50 persons during floods’

A file picture of the Navy rescuing a person stranded in the swollen Chitravathi river in Anantapur district.   | Photo Credit: -

“We are expert swimmers. But we stayed back in flood waters to save the four persons trapped in Chitravathi river. Finally, we brought them out safely after 10 hours,” recalled leading fireman Dadi Obul Reddy of Dharmavaram fire station in Anantapur district.

Obula Reddy and another leading fireman, M. Harinath Reddy went into the river on November 19, along with three local people and an earthmover, to save the people caught in the floodwater.

According to Director General (DG), Fire Services Madireddy Pratap, the State Disaster Response and Fire Services (APSDRF) officials saved the lives of more than 50 persons during the recent floods. He praised the Anantapur, Kadapa and Nellore district fire personnel for their courageous acts.

“Around 4.30 a.m, we got information about a car getting trapped in the Chitravathi river at Veldurthi village. Six firemen went into waters with the help of a rope and searched with torches. They found four persons holding on to a tree branch in the gushing floodwaters on a low-level causeway,” said Anantapur District Fire Officer (DFO) Uppala Sarath Babu.

According to Obula Reddy, “The earthmover driver had secured a firm grip for the vehicle in the waters by inserting the teeth of its shovel into the holes of the causeway. The four were taken into the vehicle with ropes. By 8 a.m. the flood level had further increased.”

Harinath Reddy said that they had all stayed put in the vehicle for about 10 hours. Around 2 p.m., an Air Force chopper had airlifted them to safety. Soon after, the earthmover was swept away in the swirling waters.

The victims were natives of Hosur in Tamil Nadu, and were working as software engineers in Bengaluru, Mr. Harinath Reddy said.

In Kadapa, the fire personnel saved about 50 persons trapped in APSRTC buses and a private bus in Cheyyeru Vaagu in Rajampeta, said District Fire Officer Y. Hanumantha Rao.

“Rajampeta Station Fire Officer Shiva Shankar Reddy has rescued the passengers. Firemen also retrieved a bus caught in floods,” Mr. Hanumantha Rao told The Hindu.

In another operation, the fire personnel rescued a woman and her daughter trapped in a collapsed building by cutting the window grills.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 10:43:04 PM |

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