Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Fire kills 10 in Tamil Nadu, govt orders probe

Fire kills 10 in Tamil Nadu, govt orders probe

An Indian Air Force helicopter patrols during a rescue mission in the Kurangani hills in Tamil Nadu's Theni district on Monday.

A Chennai-based trekking club had organised the expedition from Kurangani to Bodi in the Western Ghats for a group of 27 people from Chennai and 12 people from Erode and Tirupar.

"Some of those rescued have been admitted to a local government hospital where they are being treated for burn injuries".

He also said the trekkers had not taken the permission or security for going to the deep forest area.

Following the forest fire in Tamil Nadu, the Karnataka forest department has issued an order "temporarily" banning trekking in the state forests until rain showers.

Local reports say that they became trapped after a fire broke out in the woods on Sunday night. The Indian Air Force was then called in to help with the rescue operations.

The deceased include four women, four men and a child.

CHENNAI At least 11 trekkers died in the forest fire near Kurangani hill station atop the Western Ghats in Theni district of Tamil Nadu.

Describing both trekking expeditions as illegal, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a probe into it and offered compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to families of those killed in the inferno.

Besides Theni, there were forest fires also in Ramakkalmedu and Pookkulam Mala sharing their borders with Kerala.

As summer months are the peak tourist season, the Department offices across Karnataka are flooded with applications from wildlife enthusiasts seeking permission for trekking. Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said rescue teams comprising officials and health department personnel were camping in the hills. They were supposed to return on Sunday. Eight commandos had already reached the top and had started dousing the fire, it said.

The choppers then airlifted the bodies to a temporary helipad erected in the playground of a private college, following which these were taken to the Theni Medical College Hospital for post-mortem.

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