Theni forest fire: a trek that ended in tragedy

Full-fledged probe ordered into Kurangani hills fire accident, says CM

The state government has ordered a full-fledged probe into the Kurangani Hills forest fire tragedy to unravel the facts on how the fire spread, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in Salem on Monday.

Interacting with journalists on the sidelines of a function to launch the subsidised Amma two-wheeler scheme for working women, Mr. Palaniswami said that the government will consider sanctioning compensation to the families of the victims.

According to him, rules were in place for entering the reserve forests for trekking expeditions but the trekking team caught in the fire tragedy had undertaken the expedition without the mandatory permission from the forest officials.

The forest department will initiate stringent action against those who organise such trekking expeditions without following the mandatory norms and proper permission.

The Chief Minister said following the scorching sun and severe drought condition, the leaves of the trees frequently fall on the ground. Any small fire spreads fast leading to severe damage. Moreover, wild animals frequently stray into the civilian areas abutting the reserve forests in search of water. Under such circumstances, the people should not enter the reserve forests for trekking without the permission of the forest department.

Replying to a question, Mr Palaniswami said that there was no laxity in undertaking rescue operations and that it was launched instantly on a war footing. Due to the difficult train and darkness, the personnel involved in the rescue operation faced lot of difficulty on Sunday night, he added.

He said 17 persons with burn injuries were admitted to the hospitals — 10 in Madurai government hospital, five in Theni government hospital and two in private hospitals.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 7:03:44 PM |

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