Full-fledged inquiry into hill disaster: Tamil Nadu CM

Mar 13, 2018, 04:15
Full-fledged inquiry into hill disaster: Tamil Nadu CM

Representational image. Two groups comprising 37 trekkers got stranded after fire broke out in Kurangani hills, Theni district, on Sunday evening.

A forest official said the trekkers "may have strayed from the trekking path", and that a shortage of lighting equipment was hampering rescue operations.

"While 30 of trekkers have been rescued by Indian Air Force, which pressed into service its commandoes and choppers last night, nine are now confirmed dead", a police official said. A probe has been ordered into the cause of the forest fire, Palaniswami said. "Always one should go on trekking with the help of the guides or local tribal people after obtaining permission from the forest department officials", said Derin Johnson, the tour operator.

"All rescued have been admitted to Bodinayyakanur government hospital for treatment. So, we have decided not to allow people", said forest officials from Dandeli, Bandipur and MM Hills.

The condition of four patients in GRH is highly critical, said it's Dean Dr.D.Maruthu Pandian.

"Of the 27 rescued, 10 persons did not suffer any injuries and others suffered burn injuries", Theni District Collector Pallavi Baldev told reporters.

Six of the nine deceased trekkers were from Chennai while the rest were from Tiruppur. "They will carry medicines and provide medical assistance to the injured", Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted on Sunday.

A commando team from Indian Air Force (IAF) has joined the search and rescue operations. The chief minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami is headed for Madurai to visit the injured persons in the hospital.

In the wake of the forest fire near Kurangani hills of Tamil Nadu, trekking in the area has been temporarily prohibited. According to the report in Deccan Chronicle, people who lost their lives in the fire includes four women, four men and a child. "Without permission, they embarked on a trekking expedition". The security cover in the forest will be heightened to prevent such incidents, he said.

The students were from colleges in the districts of Coimbatore and Erode in Tamil Nadu and were on a trekking expedition.

Also, the most of the trekkers were mostly students and were caught in a massive forest fire in Theni district.

The fire began Sunday afternoon in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, sweeping quickly through the Kurangani hills area, a popular destination for tourists.

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