Charred bodies of 9 hikers found in woods after horrifying forest fire

Marsha Scott
March 15, 2018

Ten trekkers have died and 14 seriously injured in a massive forest fire on the Kurangani Hills here in Tamil Nadu, an official said on Monday.

The condition of four patients in GRH is highly critical, said it's Dean Dr.D.Maruthu Pandian. "I'm thankful to local people who rushed me to the hospital", she added.

Chennai: The Tamilnadu government has asked Revenue Secretary Atulya Misra today to probe Kurangani forest fire in Theni district, in which 11 persons were killed.

The Kurangani-Kozhukumalai hills in the Western Ghats are located near Bodinayakanur, about 40km from Theni. Monisha, 30, an engineer working with a private firm in Chennai, who is one of the trekkers who escaped the fire with minor injuries, told The Indian Express that they were trapped by the heavy wind. He also thanked Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for deploying the IAF team in the rescue effort.

Chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami also assured action against those who allegedly arranged for the trekking expedition without permission. The security cover in the forest will be heightened to prevent such incidents, he said. A total of 27 trekkers were rescued from the blaze in Theni, some 520 kilometres from the district.

Official sources said the search operations were concluded as all the trekkers were accounted for.

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Now, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been pressed into service for rescue operations and the situation is quite in under control so far. Besides, the forest became vulnerable to fires during summer, he said.

After 21 sorties of firefighting and rescue operations, the six-hour long mission finally concluded at 11 a.m.

Pallavi Baldev, from the local district government, said that it still wasn't clear how many bodies would be found.

36 trekkers, an all-women team of IT professionals from Chennai, Coimbatore and Erode had gone on an expedition to Kolukkumalai on Saturday (10 March) to mark Women's Day.

On their way back on Sunday, the group, along with 15 members of an extended family who were also trekking in the hills, were trapped on the hills and surrounded by the fire.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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