Kodaikanal: A night of revelry involving alcohol and magic mushrooms at a camp fire lit inside a room in a cottage in the hill station led to the death of two youths, including a college student, while three others in the group were in a critical condition in Theni hospital on Sunday morning.
A group of 12 students from Kerala were in Kodaikanal for a two-day picnic. On Saturday evening, they consumed alcohol and magic mushrooms, which are readily available in the hills and which are said to give a ‘high’.
They went to a room in the cottage later and lit up a camp fire using charcoal. Around midnight, seven of the group left to go to their individual rooms while five students slept in the room where they had lit the camp fire.
The smoke emanating from the camp fire engulfed the entire room in the night. When a few students visited the room around 5 am to wake them up, they found five of their colleagues lying unconscious on the floor.
They immediately alerted the cottage owner, the police said. With the help of the locals, the police rushed them to the government hospital in Kodaikanal. The doctors declared dead student Thomas (21) and the driver who brought them from Kerala to the hill, Jibin (26). Three other students — Anil (21), Melvin (22) and Vinu (22) — were rushed to the Theni Government Hospital. The condition of the three students was also critical, the police said. Their parents have also been informed.