At least nine trekkers were killed when a forest fire broke out in the Kurangani hills in Theni district of Tamil Nadu (TN) yesterday. Six of the nine killed trekkers were from Chennai while the rest were from Tiruppur.
Chennai natives Akhila, Premalata, Shuba, Punita, Vipin and Arun; and Erode natives Vijay, Vivek, and Tamilselvi have been identified among the dead.
Talking to reporters here, Palanisamy said, "Ten people have succumbed to their injuries in the Kurangani forest fire". "A few of them are said to be critical", he added.
District administration got into the rescue work in no time and rescued 27 persons initially out of whom 10 suffered no injuries at all. Eight trekkers were sent to the circuit house. While the Tamil Nadu government announced that 10 people had been killed in the fire, numerous injured are battling for their life with burns ranging from 40% to 98%. According to a Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services official, the operation was expected to be over by Monday afternoon. The chief minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami is headed for Madurai to visit the injured persons in the hospital.
Officials said another group of student trekkers hadn't taken permission from police or the forest department. In fact, trekking has been banned completely in Bisale Ghat where trekkers have lost lives as they were unable to come out of dense jungles.
O Panneerselvam at the Theni govt hospital to meet those injured in the fire. I wish them all the best for recovery and rehabilitation.
The prime minister also expressed anguish over loss of lives in Kathmandu plane crash. He also thanked Defence MinisterNirmala Sitharaman for deploying the IAF team in the rescue effort. Kolukkumalai close to the Kurangini area in Theni district. The "Contact Us" column just mentioned an email ID while the group claimed it was a "non-profit, volunteer based group which organises outdoor, sports, environmental conservation and social activities throughout the year on weekends and weekday mornings".