KOCHI: A pall of gloom descended over Maradu, and its surroundings, especially the Kattithara Road area, on Tuesday as people bid farewell to the toddlers and the helper who lost their lives after a school van plunged into a temple pond on Monday. However, the bereaved families, struck by the tragedy, are yet to come to grips with the loss of their dear ones. Adding to the woes, the condition of Carol, 5, another student who is undergoing treatment, is still critical, according to the hospital authorities.
Meanwhile, van driver Anilkumar, 45, aka Babu, is out of danger.
The bodies of the victims, including the helper, were laid to rest on Tuesday. People from all walks of life reached their homes to console the bereaved families.The cremation of Vidyalakshmi and helper Latha Unni, 45, were held at ‘Santhivanam’ crematorium, Maradu, on Tuesday while Adithyan, 5, son of Sreejith S Nair and Priya, of Sree Nilayam, Mulakuzha, Chengannur, was laid to rest on the premises of his ancestral home. His body was taken to Chengannur on Monday night itself. According to the family members, Adithyan last visited the family home last month when his father came to Chengannur for casting his vote in the recently held by-poll.
Emotional scenes were witnessed as several schoolchildren cried aloud when they saw the bodies of their friends, while elders tried in vain to console them, according to local residents.It was a heart-wrenching scene when the body of four-year-old Vidyalakshmi was brought to the residence - Sivasanjayam - where the deceased’s family resides. The house is located just 50 metres away from the pond where the accident happened. The van was coming to drop Vidyalakshmi when the mishap happened. The girl was the only child of Sanal Kumar and Smisha, natives of Vazhakala.