Fire kills 10 in Tamil Nadu, govt orders probe

Lester Mason
March 13, 2018

"Such fires are often happening in the Kurangani forest".

Chennai natives Akhila, Premalata, Shuba, Punita, Vipin and Arun; and Erode natives Vijay, Vivek, and Tamilselvi have been identified among the dead.

In his condolence message, he said "my Heart is filled with grief at the untimely end that has befallen 10 members of a trekking group in the Kurankani hills of Theni district".

A 36-member team comprising 26 women, three children and eight men started the unauthorized trek on Friday night and reached the Kerala side of the forest by Saturday.

Of those rescued, 18 were injured, Mr Kandasamy said.

"So far, 27 people have been rescued and operations are in full swing to rescue two others".

Palaniswami said the hikers did not have permission for the expedition. "Trekkers should climb hills only after taking the government's nod". However, evidence later emerged that the Erode team had crossed a checkpost on the way to Kurangani forests.

Chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami also assured action against those who allegedly arranged for the trekking expedition without permission.

A order comes in to immediate this effect said, a statement issued by the chief minister's office said.

Nine people were killed and many others were injured in a fire accident that occurred in Theni of Tamil Nadu on Sunday.

According to the order, several areas in the state were fire-prone and in the wake of forest fire in Theni district in Tamil Nadu which claimed 10 lives, the forest department has banned trekking in Karnataka forests till the time the dry season ends.

The group's website, splashed with photographs of hikers, didn't have details of those managing its affairs. But they too are being denied entry, said a source in the Forest Department. "This is a popular trekking spot", Theni district official S. Kandasamy said.

Relatives of the hikers grieve outside the hospital in Theni.

As poor visibility and fire flames up to 8 feet reduced the pace of search operations, Indian Air Force commandos from Sulur Air Base roped into the search mission.

"In the forest department, we start working on fire control from March", Ali, who is also the honorary warden of the Nilgiris reserve forest, said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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