Coimbatore: The toll in the devastating fire at Kurangani forests in Theni district rose to 18 with the death of a woman at a hospital here today, police said. The 32-year-old woman, identified as Jayashree, a resident of Chennai, was airlifted from Madurai and admitted to the private hospital here on March 12.
Jayashree was brought to the hospital with more than 60 per cent burns. She died today without responding to treatment, hospital sources said.
A total of 39 persons - 12 from Erode and Tirupur and 27 from Chennai had embarked on a trip on March 10. Three among the Chennai group went to Kerala and the rest proceeded for trekking. Of the 36 people caught in the forest fire, 18 died, 10 were rescued without any injuries and the rest are undergoing treatment.
On March 19, Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the state Assembly that a forester was suspended and a case registered against a local man, G Ranjithkumar, for leading the trekkers through the reserve forest.
For violations, police were taking action against Chennai Trekking Club and Erode based Tour de India, he had said. The Tamil Nadu government has also appointed top official, Atulya Misra, as Inquiry
Officer to probe into the circumstances leading to the death of the trekkers in Kurangani hills and submit a report on the incident within two months.