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Kerala bans trekking following Theni forest fire

13 Mars 2018

Theni: Thirty-six hikers, a lot of them women, were trapped in a massive forest fire that broke out suddenly on a Tamil Nadu hill on Sunday.

Indian Air Force has sent two helicopters on the directives of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after she was approached for help by Chief Minister K Palanisami.

Speaking to the media, Theni District Collector Pallavi Baldev said 15 persons have been rescued and search is on for others.

The condition of four patients in GRH is highly critical, said it's Dean Dr.D.Maruthu Pandian.

Besides Theni, there were forest fires also in Ramakkalmedu and Pookkulam Mala sharing their borders with Kerala. It has also has doused the fire in that area, from where the garuds have moved the bodies, she added. 2 helicopters will bring the bodies down. The fatalities include 4 women, 4 men and a child and took place due to burn injuries. Out of 27 people who have been rescued, 10 of them have minor injuries, while 8 of them have serious injuries.

Now, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been pressed into service for rescue operations and the situation is quite in under control so far.

Speaking to reporters, Palaniswami said the trekking expedition had been done without getting the necessary permission from the forest department. Members of a trekking club from Chennai and some others from cities near the hills were on a Women's Day trek through forests when they were confronted with a raging forest fire. Unaware of the forest fire, the team had trekked into the forest. Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan conveyed his wishes to those recovering from the "heart-rending" forest fire. Emergency teams had accounted for all those on the hiking expedition, Theni district police superintendent V Baskaran said.

Fires have been reported in forest areas in Nandi Hills, Turahalli, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru this year already, according to Bangalore Mirror.

Kerala bans trekking following Theni forest fire