Nine out of 39 trekkers charred to death in Theni forest fire

Fire had broken out on Sunday in Kurangani Hills reserve in Tamil Nadu

The Hush Post: As many as nine trekkers were confirmed charred to death in Sunday’s evening’s fire in Kurangani Hills reserve near Theni in southern state Tamil Nadu. A total of 39 trekkers had been trapped in a ragging fire that broke out on Sunday.

The deceased trekkers include four women, four men and a kid. Besides 10 sustained minor injuries and eight suffered serious injuries. As many as 27 people have been.

Forest fire
The fire broke out in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district where a Chennai-based trekking club had organised the expedition. Photo courtesy ANI

Thirty of the trekkers, mostly students, have been rescued and were rushed to a government hospital. The nine trekkers died of burn injuries. Search and rescue operations for the other missing trekkers are on, Deccan Chronicle reported on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday evening trekkers, mainly students, were trapped in a fire that broke out in the forests of Kurangani Hills in Theni district of the Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and took a stock of the situation. Later in a series of tweets said that two Indian Air Force helicopters had been pressed in the rescue operation. The IAF choppers are assisting the rescue teams, Sitharaman said.

“Responding to the request from the Hon @CMOTamilNadu on the forest -fire related issue -20 students are caught in Kurangani, Theni district. Instructed @IAF_MCC to help in rescue and evacuation. The Southern Command is in touch with the Collector of Theni,” she said in a tweet.

While the medical team has already been sent to the spot, employees of a private tea estate nearby have also been helping in operations, she said. The hill is located near Bodinayakanur in southern part of the state. Officials have said that about twelve students had been rescued by the locals and rescue operation teams. Efforts are on to rescue others, online edition of the Financial Express and other dailies reported.

As per police, students from Coimbatore and Erode were being trained in Kurangai-Kozhuku Hill area when the fire suddenly broke out during the afternoon. District Superintendent of Police V Baskaran and reveune and forest officials were taking steps to rescue the students from the area, FE reported.

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