Seven hikers were killed and two others suffered severe burns when a wildfire broke out on a mountain on Indonesia’s main island of Java, an official said Monday (Oct 19).
The group was climbing on Mount Lawu when the accident took place on Sunday. At least three other hikers were also severely injured in the Sunday accident. All the dead and injured have been brought down from the mountain.
The area is actually closed for hiking because there had been previous cases of wildfires due to the dry weather, so it is suspected these hikers could have used unofficial routes.
The blaze was thought to have been caused by a campfire started by hikers and not properly extinguished, said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. While nobody else has been reported missing, rescuers are combing the area to check for others who might be stuck on the mountain. Wildfires are a frequent occurrence during Indonesia’s months-long dry season.
The victims were among more than a dozen hikers who were caught in a fire that raced through forests on the 3,265-meter mountain located on the border between East and Central Java provinces.
Another hiking group of 13 senior high school students was evacuated safely.