Google Maps Misleads Odisha Students into Dense Forest, Rescued After 11-Hour Ordeal

Google Maps Misleads Odisha Students into Dense Forest, Rescued After 11-Hour Ordeal

Google Maps Misleads Odisha Students into Dense Forest, Rescued After 11-Hour Ordeal

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Five college students from Cuttack, Odisha, found themselves stranded in a dense forest for 11 hours after Google Maps directed them off course.

July 2, 2024

Google Maps misled into a dense forest five students from a private college in Cuttack, Odisha. They endured this 11-hour ordeal, while they were returning from the Saptasajya temple. Fortunately they were rescued after one of them managed to contact the police.

Sujitya Sahu, Surya Prakash Mohanty, Subhan Mohapatra, Himanshu Das, and Arakshita Mohapatra, five students of a private college in Cuttack, embarked on a journey to the Saptasajya temple on June 30. They arrived at the hilltop temple around 11 am. They came to visit Vishnu Baba’s mutt. However, their return journey took an unexpected turn when they relied on Google Maps for navigation.

By 2 pm, the five students found themselves disoriented and deep within the Saptasajya forest. Google Maps misguided them further into uncharted territory. Exhausted and without food, they reached the restricted area of Bhuashuni Khola by 5:30 pm, which heightened their anxiety.

One of the students described their experience: “We wanted to visit the temple. We crossed the temple step by step to the top of the hill and learned from Google Maps that a lovely location was there. However, after moving there, we found no proper route back except subways. We mistakenly reached Bhuashuni Khola, where visitors are banned, and couldn’t find the way out.”

After several failed attempts to find their way out, the group managed to contact the police. A coordinated rescue operation involving the Dhenkanal police and the forest department was swiftly initiated. Two rescue teams were dispatched, one approaching from Majhi Sahi and the other from the temple side.

By the end of the rescue operation, the five friends were safely extracted from the dense forest, bringing their harrowing 11-hour ordeal to an end.

This incident is not an isolated case of Google Maps misguiding users. Recently, two men in Kerala narrowly escaped after their car was swept into an overflowing river while following Google Maps directions. The men, Abdul Rasheed and his companion, were on their way to a hospital in Karnataka when the route shown by Google Maps led them onto a narrow road. In the darkness, they were unaware that the road was a bridge with no sidewalls. Their car was swept away by strong currents but got stuck in a tree, allowing them to escape narrowly.

While technology offers convenience, it’s essential to stay vigilant and prepared for unexpected situations, especially in unfamiliar or remote areas.