Saturday, November 7, 2009

Boat with children capsizes in Kerala, 8 dead

Kerala: 8 students die in another boat capsize

At least eight students -- six boys and two girls -- are feared dead in yet another boat capsize in Kerala's [ Images ] Malappuram district. Rescue operations are on in full swing.

The condition of two students is critical, said sources from the local Areekode taluk hospital.

According to reports, there were as many as 90 students -- from the Sainulabdeen higher secondary school at Areekode -- in the boat when the accident took place.

However, district officials said the death toll could go higher as they were not certain about the number of students that were on the boat.

The Member of Legislative Assembly from Malappuram, Abdurahiman, told that the tragedy occurred at around 4.30 pm when the students were returning home by boat after school.

Many students here prefer boat rides to reach homes to avoid the rush in state buses.

Sources told that the students stood up in the boat while it was on Chaliyar River and this made the boat lose balance and topple.

Aneesh, a local worker who was actively involved in the rescue operations, said the Areekode Panchayat did not check if boats operated by private individuals were safe for rides, despite the fact that the Chaliyar River has regular undercurrents.

Most of the students who were on the boat lived along the banks of the river and knew swimming, due to which the death toll was not high, he added.

Kerala Education Minister M A Baby, who was on his way to the accident site, said the government was trying to save as many lives as possible with quick rescue operations

The victims include: Koyiba, Thoufeek, Shameema, Shihab, Siraj, Thuhail, Mushik, Shahidali. Sources in the home ministers' office said fire force and police machinery had already been deployed in the area. However, the search operations would be hit due to the reduced visibility, owing to rains and cloudy atmosphere.
Health Minister P K Sreemathy has ordered the Kozhikode Medical College authorities and the Areekode hospital authorities to be geared up to giving medical aid to the victims.

Only last month 45 people drowned in Thekkady reservoir. They keep changing the enquiring officials if the report is not in govt's favour. A joke about Russians. An aircraft was delayed for take off and passengers shouted and asked why the delay. The airport staff replied that the pilot noticed a variation in the engine sound and not happy to take off. The passengers asked ' so are we moving to another aircraft?' No! came the prompt reply. We are looking for a pilot who likes the sound of this aircraft engine!. Like wise Kerala Govt will keep changing enquiry commissions till they get one who is prepared to write what they want to hear.Nothing more will happen. Ministers move around in escorted vehicles while poor people die in the river, road and what have we not.

Boat with children capsizes in Kerala, 8 dead
Boat with children capsizes in Kerala, 8 dead

MALAPPURAM: Tragedy struck on Wednesday evening at Areekode in Malappuram when a ferry carrying nearly 50 school children capsized in the Chaliyar River. Seven boys and one girl of the Plus One and Plus Two classes of Moorkkanad Sullamusallam Higher Secondary School were killed in the mishap. The victims have been identified as Suhail Pe rumbarambu, son of Aboobacker; Mushthiq, son of M C Bava, Kizhissery; Thoufeeq Palappatta; Shahidali, son of Shoukat Ali, Kozhakkottoor; Siraj Kuniyil; Shihab Velleri; Shameem Irivetti and Thohiba Kozhakkottoor. One student, Jithin Joseph of Pathanapuram, has been admitted to the critical care unit at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

Two other students, admitted to the hospital, are in critical condition.

The boat, used by the locals to travel across the river, capsized in the middle of the Chaliyar when the children were on their way back home. The incident was reported around 4.30 in the evening.

Most of the students in the boat managed to swim to the shore. The few who were caught under the boat were the ones who could not escape death.

Some students who were good swimmers even succeeded in saving many of their friends.

The bodies of the eight students are at Areekode Community Health Centre. The postmortem will be done at Areekode itself as per the information.

Those who were rescued after the mishap were first taken to Areekode CHC and then to Manjeri District Hospital, nearly 16 kilometres from the accident spot, for treatment. A medical team under the Malappuram DMO and a team from Kozhikode Medical College Hospital treated the injured.

According to eye witnesses the boat capsized when students stood up in the boat when it reached the middle of the river.

The rescue operations were carried out by sand mining workers who were quite familiar with the condition of the river. The Fire and Rescue Services and the police, along with the locals, took part in the rescue operations.

District Collector M C Mohandas has ordered a comprehensive inquiry into the incident.

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