Tamil Nadu: Nine bodies found charred in Theni forest fire, IAF choppers arrive for rescue operations


Bodi: In a major fire accident, 9 dead bodies of trekkers were found in the Kurangani reserve forest in Tamil Nadu’s Theni area.

The deceased include four women, four men and a child. Out of 27 people who have been rescued, 10 of them have minor injuries, while 8 of them have serious injuries.

According to reports, a group of trekkers from Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Erode took a leisure trip to the Kurangani forest in Bodi range at Western Ghats on March 10, Saturday. On Sunday after camping at an estate in Kozhkkumalai, the team of more than 35 members started to trek down the hill. Around 1 pm on Sunday, a rage of wildfire got spread over the woods made the amature trekkers panicked and they were spilt into two teams.

Soon after, few trekkers stranded in the midst of wildfire passed information to the local police. Thereafter the Theni district management team, including police and forest officials pressed into action.  A total of 17 trekkers including kids were reduced on Sunday till midnight.

As poor visibility and fire flames up to 8 feet reduced the pace of search operations, Indian Air Force commandos from Sulur Air Base roped into the search mission.

On Monday morning, the IAF commandos with the help of three choppers poured chemical fire extinguisher powders to control the forest fire and nine trekkers stranded in the wild was rescued by the team headed by Theni SP.

Further, nine bodies were found completely charred in pavement of rocks. Efforts were taken to bring down the bodies and rescue mission is still on.

According to sources, 39 people in total were came to trekking. Deputy CM O Pannerselvam, Health minister Vijayabaskar, Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan visited the rescue camp and monitoring the situation.

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