A massive forest fire had broken out in Tamil Nadu's Theni on Sunday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the Theni forest fire has so far claimed 10 lives that raged in the Kurangani hills in Theni district.
Sahana, a 20-year-old, has always been a lover of adventure. This young college student was on her second trek organised by the Chennai Trekking Club.
But, she never knew that a weekend trek in the woods would actually mean using every ounce of her strength to return home alive.
Narrating her ordeal she said that the trek up was very pleasant and when they passed the check-posts they were not stopped by the guards nor were they informed of any forest fire.
"We stopped for lunch at a place called Othadimaram around 2:30 pm on Sunday. That is when we noticed the fire. It was a situation where everyone had to save themselves. As the fire inched closer, our organiser Ranjith said we'll take another route", said Sahana.
"There were no fences nor guards around to tell us which area is restricted and which isn't. If an area is restricted there should be guards there. We were a big group", she added.
When the trekkers saw the fire approaching, the group spilt. "We were a group of nine. Three of us were girls and at that point in time, we were just terrified. We didn't know if we were to go up or crawl down the other side of the mountain. I decided to follow Ranjith and take another route to the base".
After four hours of taking detours, crawling and running away from the fire, their group made their way safely out of the fire. They encountered some locals in the area who then helped them get to safety.
ALSO READ | Tamil Nadu forest fire death toll rises to 10
ALSO WATCH | Theni forest fire: Blaze in Kurangani hills traps trekkers