The death toll in the forest fire incident which happened in Kurangani in Theni district on March 11 rose to 20 with two women succumbing to burns at two private hospitals.
M. Sai Vasumathi, 26, of Thanjavur, who had sustained 56% burns, was getting treated at Grace Kennet Foundation Hospital and E. Nivya Prakruthi, 23, from Chennai was under treatment at Apollo Speciality Hospitals with 40% burns.
Both the women, working as software professionals, were part of the trekking expedition organised by Chennai Trekking Club. A total of 36 people – 24 in the Chennai team and 12 members from a trekking expedition organised by an Erode-based company – encountered forest fire while climbing down from Kolukkumalai to Kurangani. While 10 people managed to escape with minor injuries, nine others died at the spot. Another 11 have died in hospitals.