Four days after the inferno at the Kurangani forest in Theni, two more trekkers have succumbed to their injuries on Thursday. The death toll in the tragedy now climbs to 14.
After battling for his life, Kannan, a native of Erode, succumbed to his burn injuries at the Government Hospital in Madurai on Thursday. Kannan was part of the 12-member team from Erode that had gone on the trekking expedition to the Western Ghats.
He had traveled with newly weds Divya and Vivek and another friend Thamilchelvan from Erode for the Kurangini trek. While Vivek and Thamilchelvan were killed on the spot on Sunday, Divya succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday. For all four, the Kurangini trip was their first trek.
Anu Vidhya, a 25-year-old trekker from Chennai, also passed away on Thursday after sustaining 80% burn injuries. Anu Vidya, an avid trekker, was hoping to be the first vegan to scale Mount Everest. She was part of the 27-member group that was organised by the Chennai Trekking Club.
All four organisers of the Chennai Trekking Club were killed in the fire.
On Wednesday, the Theni police arrested Prabhu, who organised the Erode trek as part of Tour De India Holidays, and booked him for causing death due to negligence and trespassing into a reserved area. The police is also on the lookout for for Peter Van Geit who founded the Chennai Trekking Club.
According to the Forest Department, the 39 trekkers, who were trapped in Sunday’s fire, came in two groups. While Tour De India Holidays led by Prabhu organised a trek for 12 people from Erode, the Chennai Trekkers Club (CTC) had 27 persons for the two-day trek at Kurangani forest.