A 16-year-old boy who had gone to visit Vetal Tekdi with his friends slipped and fell off the edge of the hill on Sunday morning.
Identified as Tanishk Vishal Lodha (16), the teenager has suffered a fractured right leg and has sustained injuries on his back and head.
Officials of the fire brigade rushed to the spot and rescued the teenager from the water body at the bottom of the stone quarry, located beside the hill, with blood running down his face. Sanjay Bhavekar, an official of Erandwane fire brigade division who is posted at the tower located atop Vetal Tekdi was the first one to respond.
The teenager had come to the hill with friends and he was wearing sports shoes. His friends told the officials that his foot slipped and he fell.
“The children who generally come to run in that area came to my office near the tower and informed me. I went down and found him in the water body. We moved him around 30-35 foot and took him to the opposite bank because the water was deep on the side where he fell. His right leg was fractured. So, one of the men held his leg. Before entering the water, I had informed the control room. He had hit his back and his head,” said Bhavekar.
The visitors who regularly visit the trail said that incidents like this one are rare.
“Vetal tekdi is generally a safe place unless someone takes undue risks. A lot of youngsters go there regularly. Such incidents are rare. However young children, should always be accompanied by an adult,” said Sushma Date, a regular visitor at Vetal Tekdi.
However, the fire brigade official said that he gets two-three such cases every year.
“There is a sign post board, but people try to peep and enter the water too. Plus, excess rainfall had ensured that the water-level at the shallow part was waist-deep,” said Bhavekar.
As a word of precaution, Onkar Oak, a trekker and a coordinator of multiple rescue groups said that basic caution needs to be observed by the visitors.
“This is the first incident that I have heard of at Vetal Tekdi. The ones who visit the quarry are trained rock-climbers who go there for practice. Besides the route near the quarry, the rest of the patch is safe. Basically, it is a well trodden route. The ones who have recently started going there should follow the GPS-tagged route. First timers should go with a known person and everyone should return before dark. The people visiting the quarry side should not try to challenge the edge near the quarry. People should avoid wearing floaters or heels. Unknown routes should not be followed by the new and young ones at least. Share live location with the people who know you,” said Oak.
Another part of Vetal Tekdi was recently in news for the excavation work done by the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) to build a road. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had put a stop to the road work and asked MIT to clear the debris from the area.
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