Nine trekkers dead in India Tamil Nadu forest fire

20 students caught in forest fire in Tamil Nadu rescue operations

20 students caught in forest fire in Tamil Nadu rescue operations

On venturing into forest areas for "adventure", he said it should be done with proper guidance and knowledge of the local terrain, as otherwise trekkers could get caught in unpleasant situations.

The dead included Chennai-based Akila, Premalatha, Punitha, Subha, Arun and Vipin and Erode's Vijaya, Vivek and Tamilselvi. Two people, who are in critical condition, have been transferred to a specialist hospital in the nearby city of Madurai, said R. Sedhu, a district police official. "Of the 27 rescued from the hills, 10 persons did not suffer any injuries and others suffered burn injuries", Theni District Collector Pallavi Baldev told reporters. Eight trekkers were sent to the circuit house. The IAF was on Sunday pressed into action by Sitharaman after reports of the fire surfaced.

More than 90% of fires in India are caused by humans, intentionally or unintentionally, senior officials at the forest department said.

The CTC website does not have any name or number of the persons who are in-charge of the trekking expeditions.

The ban was issued as directed by the Chief Secretary after several people, including men, women and child, of a 37-member group died due to burn injuries.

The injured have been admitted in a separate ward.

O Panneerselvam at the Theni govt hospital to meet those injured in the fire. Three of them had returned to the plains without going ahead further. "I offer my deep condolences to the families of those who are mourning the loss of their near and dear ones", Mr Purohit said, according to a Raj Bhavan communique.

Expressing deep grief over the tragedy, Mr.Palaniswami said the state government had carried out rescue and relief operations on a war footing with the assistance of Central government.

The Kurangani-Kozhukumalai hills in the Western Ghats are located near Bodinayakanur, about 40km from Theni.

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