Ooty: While two tourists from Chennai had a miraculous escape and survived in a critical condition in thick jungle cover for over 50 hours, four others from Chennai and one from Thoothukudi died when the car in which they were travelling to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) rolled down the slopes, on Monday morning.
T. Shanmugha Priya, Superintendent of Police of the Nilgiris, said that shortly after noon on Wednesday she heard from the management of a tourist resort in Fern Hill area here, that a group of tourists who were staying in the hotel did not return after setting out for a sightseeing trip on Monday morning, and that their phones were switched off.
“As the telephone tower in Ullathi area recorded the phone number of one of the tourists on Monday at 9:30 am, I alerted MTR officials and police in the Masinagudi and Pudumund areas to trace the vehicle. Since Ullathi is on the fringes of the MTR buffer zone, it was thought that the tourists could have ventured into the jungles for a trek. But on Wednesday evening, it came to light that the car in which they had travelled, rolled around 50 feet down the slopes along the 35th hair-pin bend along the Ooty-MTR road,” she explained.
Police sources at Pudhumund near here said that the deceased were identified as Raviverma (39) said to be an advocate hailing from Veerapandi street in Chennai, I. Ibrahim (37) a two-wheeler mechanic hailing from Ismail Street, Vyasarpadi in Chennai, Jayakumar (37) hailing from Selvam Nagar in Chennai, Amarnath (37) who is a sales representative hailing from Perambur area in Chennai and J. Jude Anto Kevin (34) a marine engineer said to be working as captain in a ship in Tuticorin.
The two survivors were identified as B. Ramarajesh (38) working in a private logistics company hailing from Kolathur in Chennai and P. Arun (38) hailing from Perambur. While Ramarajesh has been referred to Coimbatore for treatment, Arun who is slightly conscious was treated at the PHC at Masinagudi, and is being taken to Ooty for treatment, police added.
The group of friends came to Ooty on Sunday evening and stayed in a resort at Fern Hill booked in the name of Jude Anto Kevin, in whose car they were travelling from Chennai. Early on Monday morning, they set out on a trip to Masinagudi near MTR in the car, and met with the accident....