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13 March 2018, 04:16 | Rufus Hill
TN forest fire: 20 of 40 trekkers rescued
Among the dead, six were from Chennai while three were from Erode district. Also, the Theni District Collector Pallavi Baldev said that the search was on for others and will try their best to cooperate with search teams. Mr Palaniswami announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh to each of the families of the deceased, 'one lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to those with simple injuries. The chances of forest fire is due to the drying up of trees and grass inside the forest because of the severe summer heat.
Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam told reporters in Madurai that the trekkers didn't get permission from the forest department for their expedition. According to reports, the fire spread over the hills of Kurangani throughout Saturday and reached the trekking spot on Sunday. A total of 27 trekkers were rescued from the blaze in Theni, some 520 kilometres from the district.
The adventure was part of the Woman's Day activity that was celebrated on Thursday. The Sholinganallur Tahsildar and Neelangarai police station visited the locked office. "The ambulance service then called us", the official said. "Trekkers should climb hills only after taking the government's nod", he had said in his native Salem district. By doing so, the department hopes to regulate the crowd and make them more responsible towards conservation, he said. It took some time to get through to officials, she said.
Police and medical teams had reached the spot along with forest and fire officials and were being assisted by local tribals and the employees of nearby tea estates, Baldev said. Sitharaman had said that the Southern Command was in touch with the Collector of Theni.
He also said that people have to be careful and must take precautions as the woods are all dry during summers.
Local agencies carried out intensive searches through Monday to determine if more people were stranded on the hills, as operations to douse the fire continued.
Nine died in the forest fire that raged on the hills while 17 were hospitalised with injuries and 10 did not require hospitalisation.
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