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9 members of trekking expedition killed in TN forest fire

Press Trust of India  |  Theni (TN) 

Nine people, who were part of a trekking expedition, have been killed in a forest fire in the Western Ghats, the government said today.

"Nine persons are dead, while 17 of the rescued have been hospitalised and 10 did not require hospitalisation," of told reporters.

Among the dead, six were from Chennai and three from Erode, local police said.

Meanwhile, K Palaniswami is rushing to Theni to oversee rescue operations.

A 36-member team -- 24 people from Chennai and 12 from Tiruppur and districts -- on a trekking expedition reached on March 10. The team included 25 women and three children, according to Mariam

Four helicopters of the IAF and their 10 commandos are involved in the rescue operation, according to a tweet by Defence

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 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.

According to Pallavi Baldev, the trekkers after staying overnight at an estate in Kozhukumalai started their return journey to the plains yesterday morning when they heard about the sudden forest fire and got separated while attempting to find a safe way.

in the are located near Bodinayakanur, about 40 kms from here.

State C Vijayabhaskar said the injured trekkers were received at Kurangani by a medical team.

"There is a medical team. Nine patients have already been shifted to in Bodi and they are all stable," he told reporters.

The minister said one of the injured identified as Anu Nithya sustained 90 per cent burns injury, while other two Ilakiya and Sabitha have got 15-20 per cent burn injuries.

Veeraraghava Rao said medical teams comprising plastic surgeons have been deployed to provide treatment at the

A defence press note said 16 Garud commandos were in action from the morning.

Eight commandos had already reached the top and had started dousing the fire, it said.

One helicopter completed the first round of action and continuing it, the release said, the fire was still razing.

Four choppers had been pressed into service.

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

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 10:50 IST