9 passengers including 4 women, one rescuer drown in Kerala
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 22:57
  
Kottayam: Nine passengers, including four women and a child, drowned when a private bus with about 40 persons on board plunged into the Meenachil river here on Tuesday.

One person, who was engaged in rescue operations, also collapsed and died, police said.

The bus was coming from Cherthala in Alappuzha district to Kottayam along the rural route when it fell into the river after hitting an electric pole, they said.

Eight bodies were kept at the Medical College hospital while the rest at the district hospital here. The deceased include the conductor of the bus, hospital sources said.

Twenty persons, including the driver, were admitted in the two hospitals.

Rescuers, including Naval divers from Kochi, were still searching in the river at Thazhathangadi to ascertain if more bodies were trapped in the slush, the police said.

The bus, portion of which got stuck in the muddy river-bed, was lifted out after five hours using six cranes, but no body was found trapped inside the vehicle, as feared initially.

Some of the survivors said the bus had about 35 to 40 persons when the mishap occurred.

However, it was difficult to say exactly how many passengers were in the bus at the time of mishap as the conductor was among those who met with the watery grave.

Last year, a boat had capsized at Thekkady lake claiming 45 lives. In 2002, in Kumarakom, which is close by the spot of today's mishap, 29 people had died in a boat mishap.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 22:57


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