Home > News Shots > India

By Behindwoods News Bureau | Nov 16, 2018 08:06 PM
Farmer saves 100 houses by driving burning tractor into lake

A groundnut farmer from Karnataka has been hailed as a hero by fellow residents after he drove a burning tractor into a lake, to prevent the inferno from spreading to over 100 houses. The incident occurred in Jammanakatti village, 25km from Bagalkot, in North Karnataka.

28-year-old Yenkappa could have abandoned the tractor, laden with burning hay, but instead, he accelerated and with the heat singeing his back, plunged into the lake and jumped to safety. After saving countless lives and homes, Yenkappa has won appreciation from all quarters for his quick thinking and selfless act.

“I could have escaped to safety, but the tractor would have destroyed several homes and shattered families. I just had to act, and I did,” Yenkappa told The Times of India.

Yenkappa was driving the tractor home through a narrow road, when a bale of hay came into contact with an overhead electric wire. Sparks flew and within seconds, the hay caught fire and began to spread. While some residents screamed and rushed to bring vessels filled with water to extinguish the fire, Yenkappa knew he was running out of time.

“I was aware that I was not in a position to avert a mishap by pouring water on the burning hay. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I could feel the heat, but I had to act before the fire spread to the nearby houses,” Yenkappa said.

He changed gear, pushed the gas pedal hard and drove towards a lake, 500 metres from the clump of houses. Undeterred by the heat, Yenkappa drove the tractor into the lake before jumping out. The water gushed in, extinguishing the fire with a loud hiss.

Yenkappa said he had incurred a loss of Rs 30,000, following the incident. “We have requested the tahsildar to help us, and will request our MLA, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, for financial help," he said.

*Originally published in The Times of India*