Sabarimala: Cases of `lost and found` amid tales of woes

Last Updated: Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 18:37

Vandiperiyar (Kerala): The Kumali Government
Hospital, where the bodies of Sabarimala stampede victims
were rushed for post mortem, witnessed touching scenes.

A steady stream of people from adjoining areas Tamil Nadu
had begun to pour in to the border town of Kumali since
this morning in search of their near and dear ones.
There are also stories of some members of the same batches
dying in stampede while others surviving the tragedy only
to go back without the companions with whom they set out on
the pilgrimage a few days back.

Many found it difficult to suppress tears on looking
at the cold, stiff bodies of their relatives or friends who
had been with them till a few hours back.

Some others heaved a sigh of relief on knowing that the
dear ones they were searching survived unscathed.

A mourning pilgrim from Karnataka said he was finding it
hard to think of accompanying the body of a 23-year-old youth
who had come with him.

"We did not think that a cruel fate is store for us till
the moment it happened. We were rushing down through the
Pullumedu after having glimpses of the `Makarajyoti` when
it all happened", said 38-year-old Venkappa.

"Our group stood near a bridge and after seeing the jyoti,
we stepped down. I felt like a rush initially...but did not
think everything was going beyond control," he told PTI.
They later had a rude shock when came to know Hanumand Gowda
Patel, a 23-year old member of their group, succumbed to
injuries.

Meanwhile, a group from Tamil Nadu was in the excitement of
getting back a 9-year old boy in their group who went
missing since the time of tragedy.

They identified the child (Young devotees are called
`Manikantas` which was the childhood name of Lord Ayyappa)
among the injured at the hospital.

Post Mortem of around 93 bodies had been completed by
afternoon and police and hospital authorities were taking
every step to send the dead bodies to their home places
without any delay.

A total of 37 dead bodies, including those of from Kerala,
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, had already been
sent to the respective destinations, hospital officials said.

Eighty Six doctors and 305 other health staff, from various
hospitals in Alappuzha, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and
Kottayam districts, were attending the stampede victims here.

Thirty one ambulances were deployed to bring the dead and
injured ones from the spot and send them to their native
places.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 18:37

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