CHANDEL, April 24: A wildfire on April 23 after spreading fast towards Charangching Khunkha, Hnatham and Panchai village in Chandel district reduced the Hnatham Baptist Church building and the office cum store room to ashes at around 1.30pm April 23.
The inferno had also destroyed one house at Charangching Khunkha and a former Chief of Hnatham, Samuel Khumlo, who in his attempt to save his village from the fire received 23 percent superficial burnt injury for which the district hospital doctors had evacuated him to RIMS, Imphal for further treatment after giving first aid.
A Maruti Alto bearing regn No MN01K 3859 belonging to Samuel Khumlo was also partially damaged by the fire.
When media reached Hnatham, thousands of panick villagers and people from the surrounding villages who came for help were seen evacuating their properties at the same time trying to doze of the fire raging in full fury towards the side of the houses.
The fire was seen spreading fast from all sides towards Charangching Khunkha, Hnatham and Panchai village, all a neiboring villages located at closed dstance from the main town Japhou Bazar.
On getting the information, fire service station located at Hnatham village assisted by one fire tender from Imphal, water tankers from 20 AR, 8th MR Leikun and from SP Chandel rush to the spot for dozing the fires.
In this regard, several organisations including Anal Naga Tangpi (ANTA), Anal Lenruwl Tangpi (ALT) and Chandel Naga People’s Organisation while sharing the pain and sorrows of the affected victims have express serious concern of the incident.
Briefing media in this regard, ANTA president Wng Kohring Victor has strongly criticized the district fire service for their inability to prevent the burning church and the house which was few distance away from their station.
Citing shortage of fire services station in the district as one of the major problems in the district, Kohring called for adequate supply and better functioning of the fire department.
On the other hand, when enquired about the allegation made against the fire service of Chandel, the officer in charge of the station clarified that out of the two vehicles one is not in a good running condition. The only one good tanker with only 3000 litres is not sufficient for the district.
He also said that the director has been informed of the problems with a request to replace the damaged vehicle and water storage reservoir or tank at the station for which he appeal the public leaders of chandel to press for the same demands.
He also observed the need to have a tank to store water in and around Japhou Bazar for meeting the needs in case of any fire alarm in the town.
Meanwhile, the president of the Chandel Divisional Unit of Naga People’s Front, Youth wing L Starson Anal, has conveyed an appreciation to the CO of 20 AR, and 8th MR Leikun and SP of Chandel for rendering their tankers during the incident.