5 trekkers killed in Tamil Nadu forest fire, IAF called in for rescue ops

Theni: Five of the 39 trekkers who were trapped in Sunday’s raging forest fire deep in Kurangani hills reserve near Theni in Tamil Nadu have died.

Thirty of the trekkers, mostly students, have been rescued and were rushed to a government hospital. The five trekkers died of burn injuries. Search and rescue operations for the other missing trekkers are on.

The fire broke out in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district while a Chennai-based trekking club, which had 25 women and 3 children, had organised the expedition from Kurangani to Bodi in the Western Ghats. The group was trapped in the raging fire on their way back on Sunday.

The trekkers – that included a group of 27 people from Chennai and a batch of 12 from Erode and Tirupur – were on their way back from a trek to the Kurangani hills, when they got caught in the fire.