Deadly Forest Fire at Theni, Students Trapped!

4 Dead and 10 Injured!

Monday: A fatal and massive fire erupted in the forest of Theni district late on Sunday with the area being covered in tall lemongrass. 37 people who were part of a Women’s Day trek, consisting of 26 women, 8 men and 3 children were part of the trek, and they were coming down the slopes from Bodinayyakanur when they got trapped in the forest fire in the Kurangani area. According to reports and updates this morning at 6am, 4 are feared to have died with 10 more critically injured and 21 already rescued.

RK Jagenia, Madurai circle Conservator of Forests was reported as having said, “Four people have died, that is confirmed. Right now, around 12 people are in hospital in Bodi. They are being given treatment. 10 more are being brought down, 11 are yet to be brought down. Tonight, we will complete rescue efforts. In the morning also we will search the area.”

Pallavi Baldev, District Collector Theni was reported as having said, “The group reached Kollukumalai on Saturday morning, they had camped in an estate and were returning when they got caught in the forest fire. They panicked and the group got scattered. All government machinery has been pressed into action. Rescue operations have been expedited.”

The Collector said rescue work is slow because of inadequate light in these parts. He also said this was a very bad time for a trek as the forest is extremely dry in condition.

TN CM and Deputy CM were allegedly heavily condemned on social media as they were busy in a meeting when the incident occurred. Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman took matters into hands and conducted the rescue operation from where she was stationed.


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