Kamal Haasan expresses grief for Theni forest fire victims

Kamal Haasan expresses grief for Theni forest fire victims

A trekking event meant for adventure turned awry when nine of the 36 trekkers were killed after being caught in a forest fire on Sunday afternoon in Kurangani hills in Tamil Nadu.

And with the forest fire in Tamil Nadu killing the trekkers, the Forest Department has become more strict and has banned trekking.

While seven of the victims were from Chennai, others were from Erode district. In a significant move, it said it will procure additional blowers based on local needs to beat back any fires that may spring up in the State's forests.

"Among those rescued, six persons are very critical".

State Ministers, Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan and theDean of the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai explained the natureof treatment being given to them.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) was pressed into action by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after reports of the forest fire surfaced on Sunday.

Ten among the injured suffered serious burns and the death toll could rise, doctors treating them at nearby hospitals said.

Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami said ₹1 lakh would be given to those who were seriously injured and ₹50,000 to those with minor injuries. The trekking group of eight men, 25 women and three children had camped at a place up in the hills on Saturday night. A probe has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire, the official said.

The CTC website does not have any name or number of the persons who are in-charge of the trekking expeditions.

Relatives of the hikers grieve outside the hospital in Theni. I wish them all the best for recovery and rehabilitation.

The Kurangani hills in Theni district, which border a forest reserve and a national park, are a popular destination for hikers and global adventure tourists.