Tamil Nadu forest fire: Tourist guide arrested, death toll rises to 11

A 36-member team had embarked on a trekking expedition and reached Kurangani hills on March 10. The trip turned into a nightmare on Sunday afternoon as they were caught up in the massive blaze.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2018 17:37 IST
Agencies, Theni (TN)
Tamil Nadu forest fire,Forest Fire,Tamil Nadu
Medical staff treat victims injured in a forest fire at Rajaji Goverment hospital in Madurai on March 12.(AFP Photo)

A 30-year-old man, believed to be a tour guide who led a 36-member trekking group on an ill-fated expedition in the district, has been arrested, police said on Tuesday even as the death toll increased to 11.

Ranjith was arrested Monday night, they said, adding that he was being questioned to ascertain whether he had any links with a Chennai-based group which is believed to have arranged for the expedition.

Police are probing, among others, how the trekkers came into contact with Ranjith, a local.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old woman succumbed to severe burn injuries on Tuesday, said an official.

“She (Divya from Erode) was admitted in Madurai Government Hospital with severe burn injuries. She died at around 12.30 pm,” a hospital official told IANS.

While nine persons lost their lives on the spot, one person died at a Madurai hospital on Monday.

A 36-member team -- 24 people from Chennai and 12 from Tirupur and Erode districts -- had embarked on the trekking expedition and reached Kurangani hills on March 10. The team included 25 women and three children.

Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purhohit on Tuesday visited the Madurai Government Hospital and consoled the family members of the injured.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 16:21 IST