Bus carrying 64 Sabarimala pilgrims from TN overturns; one person critical
Officials from the fire and rescue department, police, and local residents are leading the rescue operation.
PATHANAMTHITTA: As many as 64 pilgrims, including 9 children, from Tamil Nadu, had a miraculous escape after the bus in which they were travelling overturned into a deep pit at Elavunkal. They were on their way to the Murugan temple in Palani after visiting the hill shrine in Sabarimala.
The driver lost control of the bus while negotiating a sharp curve and the vehicle fell into a deep pit on the other side of the road. As many as 17 injured pilgrims are undergoing treatment at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital (MCH) and 42 are admitted to the Pathanamthitta General Hospital.
The condition of two persons, Ranganath and Kumar, who are admitted to the Kottayam MCH is said to be critical. As per the preliminary findings of the Motor Vehicle Department, the bus failed its brakes while negotiating the curve. Agriculture Minister P Prasad visited the Pathanamthitta GH and ensured proper treatment for the injured. District Collector Divya S Iyer and MLA Pramod Narayan accompanied the minister. All of them who survived the ordeal is yet to be relieved from the shock.
“The bus overturned just five minutes after we left Nilakkal parking grounds. Everything happened in a nick of time. Initially, we could not understand what was going on,” 55-year-old Venkitesan, a native of Kuthalam at Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu, told TNIE.
Venkitesan’s 26-year-old son Ramesh Krishnan suffered injuries on his right hand. “This is a new lease of life for us. I am praying for the speedy recovery of all my fellow pilgrims,” said Ramesh, who is a B Ed student. The team started its pilgrimage from Mayiladuthurai on March 25. “First, we visited Namakkal Sree Anjaneyar temple. Then we moved to Sabarimala. The tragedy occurred when we were on our way to Palani via Kumily,” said Venkitesan.
HC Seeks report
KOCHI: The High Court on Tuesday directed the Motor Vehicle Department to file a report on the accident. A Division Bench comprising Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajithkumar issued the directive when the accident was brought to the notice of the court during the hearing of the Sabarimala crowd control case. The court also directed the government to inform it about the condition of the pilgrims who were attacked by bees on the Swami Ayyappan road recently.