BODI: Nine persons, including four women and one child, were killed in the blaze at the Kurangani reserve forest here at Tamil Nadu's district of Theni. Three of them belong to Erode district and persons are from Chennai.
A total of 10 victims who suffered burns are receiving treatment in hospitals in Madurai district. Eight of them are admitted to Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital and two other are shifted to a private hospital. Three among them are said to be critical, including one from Anu Vidhya from Tambaram.
Chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami and state health minister C Vijayabhaskar are likely to visit those under treatment at hospital, said the Madurai District Collector.
On Monday morning, the IAF commandos with the help of three choppers poured chemical fire extinguisher powders to control the forest fire and nine trekkers stranded in the wild was rescued by the team headed by Theni SP.
A group of trekkers from Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Erode took a leisure trip to the Kurangani forest in Bodi range at Western Ghats on March 10, Saturday.
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On Sunday after camping at an estate in Kozhkkumalai, the team of more than 35 members started to trek down the hill.
Around 1pm on Sunday, a rage of wild fire got spread over the woods made the amateur trekkers panicked and they were spilt into two teams.
Soon after, few trekkers stranded in the midst of wild fire passed information to the local police. Thereafter the Theni district management team, including police and forest officials pressed into action.
A total of 17 trekkers including kids were rescued on Sunday till midnight.
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.
Efforts were taken to bring down the bodies and rescue mission is still on.
According to sources, 39 people in total were came to trekking.
Deputy CM O Pannerselvam, Health minister Vijayabaskar, Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan visited the rescue camp and monitoring the situation.