10 members of trekking expedition killed in TN forest fire, 27 rescued

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Mar 2018 08:44:02



NINE people, who were part of a trekking expedition, have been killed in a forest fire in the Western Ghats, the Tamil Nadu Government said on Monday.
“Ten persons are dead, while 16 of the rescued have been hospitalised and 10 did not require hospitalisation,” Commissioner of Revenue Administration K Sathyagopal told reporters.

Among the dead, six were from Chennai and three from Erode, local police said. A 36-member team — 24 people from Chennai and 12 from Tiruppur and Erode districts — on a trekking expedition reached Kurangani hills on March 10. The team included 25 women and three children, according to Theni District Collector Mariam Pallavi Baldev.

Four helicopters of the IAF and their 10 commandos are involved in the rescue operation, according to a tweet by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said rescue teams comprising officials and Health Department personnel were camping in the hills. Besides the IAF which has deployed four choppers from its Sulur Air base in Coimbatore, personnel drawn from Fire and Rescue and Forest Departments, police, and local officials are involved in the rescue operations assisted by local tribals and employees of nearby tea estates. Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to each of the families of the deceased, Rs one lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to those with simple injuries.