KOCHI: Contrary to claims that two doctors tragically lost their lives after their car plunged into a river at Gothuruthu due to Google Maps misguidance, the preliminary police investigation indicates that the accident was primarily caused by low visibility resulting from heavy rain and waterlogging.
According to initial probe, the accident cannot be attributed to any glitches in the Google Maps application. Soorej V C, the Station House Officer (SHO) at Vadakkekara police station where the case has been registered, said the Google navigation clearly indicates that the road ends at that point.
“If they had taken the left turn as suggested by Google Map, the accident would not have occurred. Waterlogging and extreme weather conditions are most likely the reasons for obstructing visibility which ended up in the tragedy,” SHO said He said that continuous rainfall had led to significant waterlogging on the road, making it nearly impossible for drivers to discern their path. “The combination of heavy rain and poor visibility ultimately led to the tragic accident,” he added.
The victims are Dr Advaith and Dr Ajmal, both practising at a private hospital in Kodungallur. Ajmal’s fiancee and two others were also with them. Fortunately, they had a narrow escape. They were returning from Dr Advaith’s birthday party in Kochi when the accident happened.
Stegin, a local resident who was involved in the rescue efforts said bad weather condition resulted in the accident. “Due to heavy rain, the road leading to the river was nearly flooded. As street lights were on in the area, they might have mistaken the river for a waterlogged road. Owing to high tide, water level in the river had gone up and it was almost up to the level of the road and that too may be a reason,” he said.
After the tragic event, the works department took steps to enhance safety measures by erecting a barricade at the centre of the road leading to the river. The barricade aims to caution and deter people from driving towards the hazardous area.
Father Shiju Kallarakkal, vicar of Holy Cross Church, raised concerns and said that PWD was responsible for the tragic accident that claimed the lives of two doctors in Gothuruthu. “The PWD is responsible for the tragedy. If they had erected a warning board as they did a day after the incident, the tragedy could have been averted,” he said.