|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Discuss | Email | Print | Get latest news on your desktop
Kerala: 12 Sabari pilgrims killed as bus falls into gorge
February 17, 2009 18:38 IST
Twelve Sabarimala pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh, including 10 women, were killed and 40 injured when their bus fell into a gorge near Erumeli in Kottayam district of Kerala [Images] early on Tuesday morning.
The bus, carrying 60 pilgrims from the West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, fell into a 50-foot gorge while negotiating a curve down the narrow Pampa valley road, linking Erumeli with the Sabarimala's base camp Pampa, police sources said.
The condition of 20 of the injured is stated to be serious and they are being treated at the Medical College Hospital in Kottayam, where they were rushed by local rescuers and police.
The accident spot is located in a thinly populated area cutting through the forest. The local people extricated most of the bodies from the bus and helped out the injured before the police and the fire service personnel reached the spot with rescue tools.
The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the hill shrine of Sabarimala, announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each for the kin of those killed.
The Kerala government has asked the district collector to furnish a report on the accident, as the reason for the mishap is yet to be ascertained.
Official sources said that the authorities are making arrangements for transporting the bodies of the deceased in ambulances and mortuary vans to their native places.
Efforts were also on to ascertain the identities of those killed and injured, the sources added.
The ministers for Devaswom, transport and public works visited the accident spot and the hospital to monitor relief operations.
The pilgrims were going to the hill shrine of Sabarimala, which opened for four-day poojas for the Malayalam month Kumbham. They had planned to worship in the shrine on Tuesday afternoon and return home, as the temple is to be closed on Tuesday evening.
Email | Print | Get latest news on your desktop