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Death at Tung fort: girl’s parents want trek organisers to answer

Several trekkers grieved the loss of a young trekker and Ishita’s parents are now seeking answers on the safety arrangements by the trek organisers, Pugmarks Eco Tours.

pune Updated: Jul 20, 2018 16:59 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,death
Ishita Mate, 15, went to the Tung fort for trekking, where she slipped and fell.(HT File Photo)

On Sunday evening, July 15, 15-year-old Ishita Mukund Mate fell from the Tung fort in Mulshi, while on a trek, succumbing to her injuries.

Several trekkers grieved the loss of a young trekker and Ishita’s parents are now seeking answers on the safety arrangements by the trek organisers, Pugmarks Eco Tours.

Ishita’s mother, Vaishali Mate’s social media post on Thursday read: “We are the unfortunate parents of Ishita Mate who died in (sic) the Pugmarks trail at Tung Fort on Sunday. We have yet to hear from Pugmarks about this incident, how and what actually happened.

However, we had a few basic queries and issues about the safety protocols being followed by Pugmarks. This needs a closure and we need answers. To seek more details, we also need to connect with other members of this trek group who were part of this unfortunate trek to Tung Fort.”

Pugmarks issued a statement claiming they had taken every safety precaution possible, but the unfortunate incident occurred.

“We had four experienced volunteers with the group. They were all trained and equipped with first aid kits. The leader had 25 years of trekking experience and has done a basic mountaineering course. Secondly, the fall was not into a 150-ft deep gorge, but the group was 16 minutes away from base. I have been told that Ishita fell some 50-ft, but the severe head injury claimed her life and we feel sorry for the loss,” Tanvi Thatte, director, Pugmarks Eco Tours, said.

She also denied the allegations of a delay in contacting Ishita’s parents.

“We not only contacted her parents immediately, but send our team member to their home to bring them to the site. They had already left before he could reach them. We don’t want to stretch the issue and we are ready to answer on every point raised by Ishita’s parents,” Thatte added.

Ishita had just passed her Class 10 exam with 90 per cent marks from the Sardar Dastur Girl's high school.

Asking to remain anonymous, one of the trekkers who accompanied Ishita on the Tung fort trek, says, “Ishita lost her balance on a boulder while climbing down. She slipped and rolled before falling off a cliff.”

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 16:50 IST