Earlier, on her orders, an Indian Air Force helicopter surveyed the fire-ravaged hills.
So far 27 people have been rescued but it is being feared that over half-a-dozen people are still trapped in the forest. They are coming down from the hill. They had gone in batches to spend the weekend in the forest and planned to return Sunday evening. Those with burn injuries should heal fast. "Our staff members are coordinating the rescue operations uphill", he said.
Behra said instructions have been issued to Idukki district police chief to give all assistance in the rescue operation.
A temporary helipad has been set up at the Bodi foot hills. "The Southern Command is in touch with the Collector of Theni", she said in a tweet.
People who organise treks in this regions and senior officials told various media outlets that this was not the right time for trekking in these regions that were prone to sudden fires due to the dry conditions.
Of the 17 injured, eight were admitted to Madurai Government Hospitaland five in private hospital, while four others were being treated atTheni Government Hospital.
The IAF commando team had flown in from the Sulur Air Base near Coimbatore late on Sunday and climbed up the hills.
"Medicines and food also have been sent to the spot".
Having access to advanced communication facilities, the IAF team was also deputed to check the landing facility for helicopter. I wish them all the best for recovery and rehabilitation. The special trek for women was conducted in tandem as a Women's day initiative who were enlisted via online. We are still not sure if they had the permission or not.
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