Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Tamil Nadu: Kurangani hills forest fire doused, death toll reaches 9

Tamil Nadu: Kurangani hills forest fire doused, death toll reaches 9

As of 6am on Monday, 27 people were rescued and at least 8 of them have suffered severe burn injuries. "They had entered the forests from Munnar side of Kerala and were trekking down to Theni through the forests". The helicopter will carry out a survey on the spread of the fire and its intensity. "Awareness programmes are also being conducted", Pallavi Baldev, collector of district Theni, said.

The district collector K Veera Raghava Rao who is at the GRH said that the chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the health minister C Vijaya Baskar are likely to visit the patients take at the GRH later in the day. "The ambulance service then called us", the official said.

But the duty officer, Superintendent of Police Office, Theni said he has not received any reports about loss of lives or major causalities.

"15 people have been rescued from the fire so far".

The people who died in the fire includes four women, four men and a child.

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Additionally, 13 people from the scattered group have been located and officials from the fire and forest departments are administering first aid to them. The rescued trekkers were brought to the plains and taken to various hospitals for treatment. "There are many places in the forest that are restricted", Dindigul Srinivasan, forest minister, said. Baldev said there is no motorable road to the spot where the fire raged. "Rescue operations have been expedited".

Helicopters from the Indian army have been enlisted to help douse the flames, PTI reported.

The fire broke out in Tamil Nadu's Theni district while a Chennai-based trekking club, which had 25 women and 3 children, had organised the expedition from Kurangani to Bodi in the Western Ghats. Instructed @IAF_MCC to help in rescue and evacuation. "The Southern Command is in touch with the Collector of Theni".

More than 15 girls were rescued - some with burn injuries - while the remaining girls were believed to be trapped in the raging fire as visibility remained poor at night. They are coming down from the hill. She said during the aerial survey, the trekkers had signalled their location to the chopper crew with torchlights.

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