9 trekkers killed in Tamil Nadu forest fire, rescue ops on

13 Marcha, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • Theni forest fire

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.

Palanisamy said the cause of the fire was unknown and promised to strengthen forest security.

The dead include four women, one child and four men. "Operation continues", Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharman said.

On permission for the trekking expedition, the officer said the forest department will know best about possible violations.

Police and medical teams had reached the spot along with forest and fire officials and were being assisted by local tribals and the employees of nearby tea estates, Baldev said. They rescued few people at night.

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She said the rescue teams have rescued 27 people, including minor girls and women till this morning.

Palaniswami has said a detailed inquiry will be held to ascertain the situation. The Indian Air Force (IAF) commandoes, who were engaged in rescue and relief operations, were airlifting the bodies from the forest area in choppers to the government medical college hospital in Theni. Heavy winds fanned the flames, which reached 10 feet in height at one point and hampered rescue operations.

"Some of those rescued have been admitted to a local government hospital where they are being treated for burn injuries".

The Indian Air Force provided 16 commandos of the Garud Commando Force and three helicopters that have been in action all day. The chief minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami is headed for Madurai to visit the injured persons in the hospital. Mr Vijayan expressed grief over the tragedy. "I hope that those who are injured recover soon", Prime Minister Modi added in a second tweet.

Theni District Collector Pallavi Baldev on Sunday said 15 persons have been rescued and search is on for others. The club's website says it has around 40,000 members as non-profit volunteers and organises hundreds of outdoor, sports, environment and social activities during weekday mornings and weekends.

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