trekking tragedy
Theni: Indian Air Force (IAF) commandos busy climbing the Kurangani Hills during rescue operations after a massive forest fire ​broke out in Tamil Nadu's Theni on March 12, 2018. While nine trekkers lost their lives in the fire, a total of 27 trekkers were rescued from the blaze. (Photo: IANS) IANS

A trekking expedition that ended up killing nine persons after a fire broke out on the Kurangani Hills in Tamil Nadu, is alleged to have been organised by the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC), an online group of over 40,000 members.

The CTC website does not have any name or number of the persons who are in-charge of the trekking expeditions.

According to the website, the CTC is a non-profit, volunteer group which organises outdoor sports, environmental conservation and social activities throughout the year on weekends and weekday mornings.

"Founded in 2008 the group has grown to one of the most active and largest in South India with over 40,000 members and hundreds of activities throughout the year.

"All activities are free -- expenses are shared equally among participants," the website says.

It is also not known whether the group has trekking experts who know the topography and other characteristics of the different hills and who can guide trekkers.