Officials released the names of the 9 victims who were charred to death in the forest fire. The survivors, as well as the missing persons' list, is also out!
At least nine trekkers were killed and six others are in critical condition as a forest fire swept through Kurangani area in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district on Sunday. Three people are still reportedly missing.
The severity of those suffering from burns ranges from 20% to 98%. The forest fire spread fast to cause severe damage.
Thirty-seven people consisting of 26 women, 8 men, and 3 children were part of the trek. And they were coming down the slopes from Bodinayyakanur when the forest fire caught them. Of the two trekkers group, one was of 13 people hailing from Tiruppur and Erode, and another group of 24 people were from Chennai. The Chennai group had started to Theni on March 9, Friday.
The groups comprised students and working professionals.
Pallavi Baldev, District Collector Theni 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 added that the rescue of others struck in the area has become very difficult due lack of adequate lighting facilities.
People who organize treks in this regions and senior officials told various media outlets that this was not the right time for trekking in these regions that were prone to sudden fires due to the dry conditions.
Rescue mission for the forest fire
Locals and residents of the nearby village had knowledge about the fire in the afternoon, surely around 3:30 pm. According to a person from the rescue team who spoke to the Tamil media, about 200 locals are helping with rescue efforts. Doctors are also reportedly at the spot.
More than 10 ambulances and several medical teams are present on the spot.
As soon as news of the fire broke, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted saying she had asked the Indian Air Force to help with rescue and that the Southern Command of the Indian Air Force was in touch with the Theni District Collector.
The names of the victims are:
- Akhila (Chennai)
- Hemalatha (Chennai)
- Punitha (Chennai)
- Subha (Chennai)
- Arun (Coimbatore)
- Vipin (Coimbatore)
- Tamilchelvan (Erode)
- Vivek (Erode)
- Divya (Erode)
Officials also released the names of some of the people rescued who are in critical condition.
- Anuvidya (Chennai)
- Nisha (Chennai)
- Kannan (Erode)
- Divya (Erode)
- Devi (Salem)
- Meena (Kerala)
The names of those who have suffered minor injuries are:
- Elakkiya (Chennai)
- Prabhu (Erode)
- Sabitha (Erode)
- Hemlatha (Madurai)
- Swetha (Chennai)
- Nisha (Salem)
- Kanan (Erode)
Some trekkers were lucky to escape with no injuries at all:
- Rajasekar (Tiruppur)
- Bavana (Tiruppur)
- Nega (Erode)
- Sathana (Tiruppur)
- Monisha (Chennai)
- Sahana (Chennai)
- Nivetha (Chennai)