76-year-old Kochi woman stuck neck-deep in sludge for over five hours rescued

The woman cried for help for a long time, but none heard her as there are only a few houses nearby.
Kamalakshmi, who was trapped in sludge in a vacant plot near Maradu in Kochi, being rescued by fire and rescue services personnel. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)
Kamalakshmi, who was trapped in sludge in a vacant plot near Maradu in Kochi, being rescued by fire and rescue services personnel. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

KOCHI: The 76-year-old woman lay trapped neck-deep in sludge. She clung on to her life for nearly five-and-a-half hours, screaming for help. Struggling to stay afloat, she was exhausted and lost her voice. 

When all seemed lost, Kamalakshi was spotted by a woman from the terrace of a house adjacent to the vacant plot where she was stuck. Soon, fire and rescue services personnel were called in, and the woman was rescued in the nick of time. 

Kamalakshi, who works as a house help in Maradu, Kochi, fell into an area filled with sludge dumped from nearby construction piling sites near around 11 am on Tuesday, when she took a shortcut through the vacant plot close to St Antony’s Road near Kottaram Junction. 

The woman cried for help for a long time, but none heard her as there are only a few houses nearby. Finally, around 3.45 pm, a woman residing near the area noticed the movement of a hand in the sludge from the terrace of her house.

Zeenath, who had come to the terrace to dry clothes, immediately informed the people who were in the vicinity. 

“Though we tried to rescue her with a rope, our efforts ended in vain as the area was muddy due to the sludge deposit from construction sites. We then alerted the fire and rescue services,” Shaju, a resident of Angamaly, who had come to meet his sister residing in the area, told TNIE.

“Had the woman (Zeenath) not spotted her, something worse would have happened,” said Shaju. 

Around 4.10 pm, fire and rescue personnel from Tripunithura station reached the spot. They pulled Kamalakshi out of the sludge by 4.30pm with the help of a ladder and rope.

Officials of the rescue team said it was sheer luck that someone spotted her, which eventually saved her life.  

“The spot might have looked like solid land, which prompted the woman to walk through the sludge,” said Vinuraj, an official of the Fire and Rescue Services team. 

After being rescued, Kamalakshi was rushed to the PS Mission Hospital, Maradu.

“She was completely exhausted and weak after struggling to stay afloat for more than five hours. The doctor informed us that her health condition is stable,” said Jinson Peter, a local politician.

He said the woman, who lives with her mentally challenged son, is the sole earning member of the family.

“They are surviving on the money she gets from doing household works in Maradu areas,” he said.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com