A fun outing turned out to be a nightmare after a trekker died and 47 others were left stranded at the Chanderi hill trekking point near Badlapur in Thane district till Sunday morning. Abhijeet Kadam, 25, lost his life after succumbing to head injuries, as a rock fell on his head while climbing down from the hill.
The 48-member team from a leading media group started trekking at around 9 am Saturday. Their return journey from the hill the same afternoon turned out to be a dangerous one owing to a heavy downpour that resulted in a slippery track.
“We got a call from them after one of the members was injured. We immediately rushed to the spot with long ropes and safety gear for the rescue operations. We also sought help from the local villagers and the Kulgaon police,” said Bhagwat Sonone, a fire officer from the Badlapur fire brigade.
While the team of five fire officers managed to rescue 20 people by around 8 pm Saturday, they had to seek additional help from a trekking professional owing to the difficult, slippery surface. “We tried to rescue the women in the team first but the weather worsened, it was getting darker and the slope was very slippery,” the official added.
Though a doctor was also sent at around 6.30 pm Saturday for Kadam’s help, he had already succumbed to his injuries and was brought down dead at around 10 pm.
About 12 people from a professional trekking group, along with nine local citizens, then rescued the remaining members of the team. The rescue operations continued till around 10 am on Sunday, and all the members were brought down safely, the official added.