The trekkers were caught in the forest fire in Kurangani Kozhukumalai hill ranges near Theni, some 500 km away from Chennai. From the injured, 10 have sustained minor injuries and 8 have serious injuries.
After 21 sorties of firefighting and rescue operations, the six-hour long mission finally concluded at 11 a.m. The fatalities include 4 women, 4 men and a child and took place due to burn injuries. The Indian Air Force was then called in to help with the rescue operations.
Nine people were killed in a forest fire in southern India after becoming trapped while hiking, police said Monday.
The chief minister has ordered a probe and legal action against those who had arranged the expedition.
The district administration and health department officials had been instructed to ensure best medical treatment to those admitted to local hospitals, he said.
After conquering the peak, the trekkers started their downward journey to the plain and stopped for the lunch on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm when they were caught unaware by a raging fire from the downhill. According to an official, one o the group had actually paid the entry fee at the forest check post.
The actor took to twitter to write about the incident, "Kurangani forest fire and its victims is heart rending".
Baldev, who met the rescued persons and spoke to them, later told reporters that a 12-member group from Tiruppur and Erode and another comprising 24 people from Chennai, on a trekking camp, reached Kurangani hills yesterday.
As summer months are the peak tourist season, the Department offices across Karnataka are flooded with applications from wildlife enthusiasts seeking permission for trekking.
DMK Working President M.K.Stalin, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, PMK Founder Dr.S.Ramadoss, former AIADMK leader T.T.V.Dhinakaran among leaders of various political parties condoled the death of trekkers in the forest fire.