Theni Forest Fire: Nine trekkers killed in TN, some still trapped
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Theni Forest Fire: Nine trekkers killed in TN, some still trapped

March 12, 2018

Chennai:  At least nine people died in a forest fire in Kurangani hills in Tamil Nadu yesterday, Theni District Collector M. Pallavi Baldev said this morning.

As many as 36 trekkers — 24 from Chennai, including 23 women, and 12 from Tiruppur, including three women and three children — were caught in the fire yesterday afternoon, said Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation Commissioner Dr. K. Satyagopal.

Six of the nine deceased trekkers were from Chennai while the rest were from Tiruppur. The deceased have been identified as Subha, Hemalatha, Punitha, Akila; Arun, Vipin Dhivya, Vivek and Tamilselvan.

Forest officials said the trekkers tried to take refuge inside a dried up stream but the dried grass in the stream quickly caught fire. The District Collector said some of them fell into a pit.

After massive rescue operations led by the India Air Force team, 21 people were rescued.

State Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said eight trekkers had been sent to the circuit house. There were all treated at the Kurangani Primary Health Centre before being sent to the Bodi General Hospital.

Five people with critical injuries were sent to Theni Medical College Hospital, six were sent to Madurai Medical College and three others were taken to a Private Medical  College. “All of them are critical but are being treated by experts,” he said.

Plastic surgeons and emergency management experts from Chennai and doctors from Trichy were sent to Madurai and Theni hospitals to treat the injured trekkers.

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