MALAPPURAM: Two teenagers stranded at Koomban Hill in the district were rescued after a nine-hour-long operation involving local residents and rescue services personnel. Yasin, 17, son of Muhammad Kutty, of Ponkulathil, and Anjal, 19, son of Aris, of Chakalakunnan, were admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital, Manjeri, as they suffered injuries during the trek.
Yasin, Anjal, and their companion Shamnas, 21, son of Ishaq, of Kallingal, embarked on the trek at 12 noon on Wednesday. They reached an area of Koomban Hill around 3.30 pm when the weather suddenly changed and it started to rain.
As they noticed the climate change, they began descending the hill, but slipped and fell on a slippery rock, Shamnas said. Yasin and Anjal were injured and were unable to continue the journey.
Leaving the injured persons there, Shamnas returned to Karuvarakundu and sought help from local residents to rescue his friends. “I arrived in Karuvarakundu around 6 pm and informed a family in the area about the situation. Subsequently, local residents, police, fire and rescue officials, and other rescue forces initiated the rescue operation,” Shamnas said.
After a five-hour search, the rescue team located the stranded individuals in the forest around 11 pm and brought them back to Karuvarakundu around 3 am on Friday. Members of the Emergency Rescue Force described the rescue operation as a challenging task, particularly at night.
“The night rescue operation was difficult, but we were equipped with necessary tools such as torch lights and ropes to complete the operation. Due to the rain on Wednesday evening, a stream in the area had swelled, making it difficult for the youngsters to cross it. However, local residents who were part of the rescue team identified a shallow area where they could cross to the other side,” said Bipin Paul, a member of the ERF.
Majeed, another ERF team member, said that the hill was inhabited by animals, and they travelled through the paths created by elephants. “Personnel from the police, fire and rescue department, civil defence, ERF, trauma care, and Apthamitra participated in the rescue operation risking their lives,” he added.
‘TRESPASSING INTO THE FOREST AREA PUNISHABLE’
Malappuram: The forest department launched a probe into the incident on Thursday. Silent Valley Wildlife warden S Vinod told TNIE that if the probe reveals that the youngsters trespassed into the forest, a case will be registered against them. Vinod said the youngsters claimed that they did not enter the forest area but visited the private lands near the hill to collect mangoes.