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9 dead in TN forest fire

IANS  |  Chennai 

Nine trekkers have died in a forest fire on the Hills in Tamil Nadu, the said on Monday.

A rescue operation with the help of the (IAF) helicopters has been underway since Sunday. A total of 27 trekkers were rescued from the fire in picturesque district, some 520 km from here.

The trekking men, 25 women and three children had camped at a place up in the hills on Saturday night. They were supposed to return on Sunday.

Earlier, in a tweet, of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan expressed grief and shock at the loss of life of those who were caught up in the blaze.

The said he was praying for the fast recovery of those who were injured. He also thanked Defence for deploying the IAF team in the rescue effort.

According to a Fire and Rescue Services official, the operation was expected to be over by Monday afternoon.

Speaking to IANS, said the operations were continuing and the trekkers were being brought down by the rescue team members.

A temporary helipad has been set up at the Bodi foot hills. The injured have been admitted in hospitals in and Theni, she said.

The night climate was generally chilly while efforts were afoot to reach the stranded trekkers caught up in the blaze, the added.

said six of the rescued admitted in a hospital have suffered serious burn injuries.

The IAF commando team had flown in from the near late on Sunday and climbed up the hills.

Sitharaman had confirmed on Sunday that the commandos deployed in the rescue mission would carry medicines and provide medical assistance on spot.

Having access to advanced communication facilities, the IAF team was also deputed to check the landing facility for helicopter.

They decided on the best ways to evacuate those stuck on the hill, including the injured.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Baldev had said that 24 trekkers from the and 12 from Erode and Tiruppur had gone up the Hills.

The adventure was part of activity that was celebrated on Thursday.

A Forest Department had said that the organisers had not obtained any permission for the trekking mission.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 10:04 IST