PM Modi Condoles Victims Of Tamil Nadu Fire, Nepal Plane Crash

PM Modi Condoles Victims Of Tamil Nadu Fire, Nepal Plane Crash

A 36-member team comprising 26 women, three children and eight men started the unauthorized trek on Friday night and reached the Kerala side of the forest by Saturday.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy said the trekkers didn't have permission from the forest department for the expedition.

A woman leaves the Theni Government Medical College hospital after meeting a relative who was injured in the Kurangani forest fire.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Raghuveer said in a statement that the department will involve all stakeholders including government employees, Green Brigade members and Haritha Rakshana Samithies in its efforts to prevent forest fires.

DMK Working President M.K.Stalin, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, PMK Founder Dr.S.Ramadoss, former AIADMK leader T.T.V.Dhinakaran among leaders of various political parties condoled the death of trekkers in the forest fire.

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It blamed the local farmers for the fire, set at the hill base to burn down the grass that engulfed the forest killing some of the trekkers.

"Six deceased belonged to Chennai, while three to Erode", the DC said.

PMK leader Ramadoss wondered if all the rules were duly followed by the authorities concerned and the company that arranged for the trekking expedition. The defence forces, the personnel of the fire services and police departments have been engaged in the rescue operations, with full vigour.

Nearby Kolukkumalai hills is stated to be the home to highest tea estate in the world located at an altitude close to 8,000 feet, according to Tamil Nadu "favtourism" blog.

"Even if both the trekking groups had paid this entry fee, as they now claim, that gives them permission only for Kurangani to Top Station trek and not to Kollukumalai (where they were trapped by the blaze)", the forest official said. In a bid to escape, they ran helter-skelter due to which at least a dozen of them fell into a deep gorge and were charred, rescuers said.

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