Madurai

Friends of forest fire victims pay tribute

MADURAI

A group of five friends trekked two km up to Kurangani’s Kolukkumalai to pay respects to their near and dear on the first anniversary of a massive forest fire tragedy that resulted in the death of 23 people.

The group walked past Kurangani to light candles and pay floral tribute on Monday. A total of two groups were trekking down from Kolukkumalai to Kurangani when the fire occurred in 2018. A total of nine people perished on the spot. Others subsequently died at hospitals in Bodinayakanur, Madurai, Chennai and Erode.

S. Muthukumaran, one of the five members who visited the spot, said that the district administration and the Forest department had designated a specific area for tributes to be paid.

“We visited the spot and paid respects. There is nothing much to say when your friends are no longer alive,” he said.

S. Jegadeesh, a ‘108’ ambulance pilot, one of the first responders to reach the spot, said that members from the Forest department and the Police department were deployed to ensure that people do not trek to the spot. He also said that the designated area provided a view of Othamaram - the site of the tragedy.

On Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Theni Collector M. Pallavi Baldev and other officials planted saplings in memory of the deceased. The Collector said that a total of 30,000 trees would planted in their memory.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:55:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/friends-of-forest-fire-victims-pay-tribute/article26497752.ece

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