March 12, 2018
Nine trekkers are feared dead in the forest fire that engulfed 36 trekkers who were coming down hill from Kurangani Hills in Theni district even as rescue some of the trekkers still untraceable with the help of IAF choppers.
Theni is located 520 km west of Chennai.
Union minister of state for finance and shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan expressed shock over the death. He said he was praying for the fast recovery of those injured.
A TN government official said, fire services, IAF are carrying out search and rescue operations, which are expected to end in the afternoon.
A temporary helipad is being prepared at Bodi foot hills. Theni collector Pallavi Baldev said rescue operations were continuing and the trekkers are being brought down by the rescue teams,
Injured have been admitted to hospitals in Madurai and Theni.
The IAF commando team flew in from Sulur air base near Coimbatore on Sunday late night and climbed up the hills.
Collector Baldev told media persons that 24 trekkers from Chennai Trekking Club and 12 from Erode and Tiruppur had gone to the Kurangani Hills. There were eight men, 25 women and three children. The trekking was organised as part of women’s day activity.
Forest department officials had not given any permission for the trekking, sources said.