World

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

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

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the Indian Air Force which pressed into service its commandoes and choppers to rescue 30 trekkers as well as douse the flames, and condoled the deaths in the forest fire. The 36-member-team comprised 24 people from Chennai and 12 from Tirupur and Erode districts.

Among those rescued, seven are undergoing treatment for burns at the hospital.

"I join the people of Tamil Nadu in praying for the early and complete recovery of the trekkers admitted in hospital and all the others affected by the traumatic incident", the Governorsaid. Opposition parties blamed the government saying the forest fire was on for about a week and no steps were taken to put it out. A total of 27 trekkers were rescued from the blaze in Theni, some 520 kilometres from the district.

The Chennai Trekking Club was not allowed to take novices to the expedition, they said.

The fires were raging for the past 15 days, but the forest department had also not issued any alerts, he alleged. Vijayalakshmi told the media that the trekkers panicked upon facing with the fire and scattered.

He said that the hikers had been returning from a tea estate when the fire broke out.

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A member of the trekking party, in a statement to the police, has reportedly said they paid Rs 200 per person as entry fee before climbing the hills.

Two teams of trekkers - one an all-women expedition team from Chennai, and another organised by a private tour operator, entered the forests for trekking on Saturday.

K. Sathyagopal, commissioner of revenue administration, said 17 of those rescued had been hospitalised.

Palaniswami said the hikers did not have permission for the expedition.

Meanwhile, chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami said later in the day that the trekking expedition was undertaken without permission from forest department.

Sitharaman remained in touch with the District Collector and directed the Indian Airforce to co-ordinate in the rescue operations. The local forest chief had also called it an "illegal trekking expedition".


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