Tamil Nadu: Theni forest fire toll mounts to 12; case lodged against trekking club owner

The death toll in the Kurangani forest fire in the district rose to 12 with one more woman succumbing to her burns at a private hospital in Madurai

PTI March 15, 2018 18:45:29 IST
Tamil Nadu: Theni forest fire toll mounts to 12; case lodged against trekking club owner

Theni: The death toll in the Kurangani forest fire in the district rose to 12 with one more woman succumbing to her burns at a private hospital in Madurai on Thursday, the police said.

The victim was identified as Divya Viswanathan of Coimbatore district, they added.

Tamil Nadu Theni forest fire toll mounts to 12 case lodged against trekking club owner

File image of the Theni forest fire. News18

All the victims belonged to a 36-member trekking team that was caught in the fire in the Kurangani Kozhukumalai hill ranges, near Theni, some 500 kms from Chennai. The team comprised 24 persons from Chennai and 12 from Tiruppur and Erode districts.

The trekkers, including 25 women and three children, had reached the Kurangani hills on 10 March. Three of the team members had opted out of the trek.

After staying at an estate in Kozhukumalai overnight, the trekkers had started their return journey on March 11 (Sunday), when they heard of the forest fire and got separated from each other while trying to find a way out of the forest.

The hills are in the Western Ghats near Bodinayakanur, about 40 kms from Theni.

The forest department has suspended Forest Officer Jaisingh in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, the police today lodged a case against Peter Van Geit, the owner of the Chennai-based trekking club that had organised the trek.

He was charged under section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the police said.

Two persons, including an agent of the club at Erode, have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Officials had on Thursday said the search operations were called off as all the trekkers were accounted for.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has announced a solatium of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh each to those seriously injured and Rs 50,000 each to those with simple injuries.

Updated Date:

also read

Anand Mahindra shares photo of Tamil Nadu road with 70 hairpin bends, internet is awestruck
India

Anand Mahindra shares photo of Tamil Nadu road with 70 hairpin bends, internet is awestruck

Anand Mahindra wrote that he would love to find out who built the stunning road in Tamil Nadu

As COVID-19 cases surge, Tamil Nadu shuts schools for Classes 10 and 12 till 31 January
India

As COVID-19 cases surge, Tamil Nadu shuts schools for Classes 10 and 12 till 31 January

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu reported so far to 29,15,948 and the death toll to 36,967

Watch: Flock of painted stork visit Tamil Nadu sanctuary, see picturesque sight here
India

Watch: Flock of painted stork visit Tamil Nadu sanctuary, see picturesque sight here

IAS Supriya Sahu, who is the Additional Chief Secretary of Environmental Climate Change and Forests, shared the video on her Twitter account.