Tamil Nadu forest fire: Toll rises to 18 as hospitalised woman dies in Coimbatore

The 32-year-old woman, identified as Jayashree, a resident of Chennai, was airlifted from Madurai and admitted to the private hospital here on March 12.
The massive forest fire in the hills near Korangani, in Theni district that claimed 18 lives  (File Photo | EPS)
The massive forest fire in the hills near Korangani, in Theni district that claimed 18 lives (File Photo | EPS)

COIMBATORE, THENI: With the death of a 32-year-old woman, the death toll in the forest fire at Kurangani in Theni district touched 18 on Thursday. The deceased was identified as E Jayasree (32), a native of Tiruchy, working at a private telecommunication concern in Chennai. According to the doctors at a private hospital in the city, Jayasree was airlifted to Coimbatore in a helicopter ambulance and was undergoing treatment at the private hospital since March 12, a day after the fire.

“Jayasree had sustained 70 per cent burns. Of the 70 per cent, 63 per cent was deep burns and while seven per cent superficial,” Dr S Rajasabaapthy, who treated Jayasree, said in a press statement.
Stating that she had sustained burns on face, neck, hands, chest, back, thighs and right leg, Rajasabaapthy said that Jayasree’s lungs too had been burnt as she had inhaled hot fumes.
According to Rajasabaapthy, doctors treated her for burns with intravenous fluid and wound care, apart from removing dead tissues and grafting skin from skin bank. She was on ventilator support.

On Thursday, Jayasree succumbed to burns, not responding to treatment. Five persons — Sivasankari (26) of Udumalpet, Sai Vasumathi (26) of Thanjavur, Swetha (28) of Chennai, Nivya Nikruthi (24) of Chennai and Mina George of Kerala — are undergoing  treatment at different hospitals in Madurai.
On March 11, 39 people trekking at Kozhukkumalai in Theni district were caught in a forest fire at Kurangani.

Meanwhile, the government-appointed Inquiry Officer Atulya Misra, Principal Secretary for Revenue and Disaster Management, started his inquiry into the Kurangani fire.

Misra came to Theni on Wednesday evening. A meeting was held at the Collectorate here, during which the inquiry officer interacted with the officials including the District Collector, Superintendent of Police V Baskaran and other officials.

On Thursday morning, Misra went to Kurangani hills, along with forest department officials.
Additional Principal Conservator of Forest Udhayan, Madurai Conservator of Forest Sahaniya, Wildlife Warden Rajmohan, Assistant Conservator of Forest Mahendran and other officials from the forest department accompanied him for inspection.

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