Sabarimala stampede: Truck driver recounts tragedy

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Vandiperiyar (Ker), Jan 16 (PTI) It was a drive Aneeshwould never forget in his life as he transported dead pilgrimsand those barely alive in his truck from Pullmedu to ahospital here on ''Makara Jythothi'' when 102 pilgrims werekilled in the Sabarimala stampede.

But the 30-km journey from Pullmedu to Vandiperiyarhospital took six and half hours through the narrow road andmost of those injured died by the time he arrived at thehospital, Aneesh said.

"Some cried for a few drops of water... They fellsilent after a while during the bumpy ride. The road wasnarrow and there were lots of vehicles," he said.

Aneesh said he rushed to the mishap spot on hearing aloud sound and saw the stampede. He along with two other lorrydrivers put the dead and injured onto lorries for transportingthem to the hospital.

"They were mostly dead pilgrims. A few were alive....

barely breathing. By the time the lorries reached thehospital, there were hardly a few survivors," the 35-year-oldsaid.

All their efforts to save lives would have borne fruithad there been more police, more lights along the narrow road,he said.

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