Reports say 28 boys and 13 girls, part of the final-year Electronics and Instrumentation batch at the Sarabhai Institute of Science And Technology in Vellanad, embarked on a pleasure trip recently. Two relatives of one of the students accompanied the group. After visiting the popular hill resort of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, they were all proceeding to Munnar in Kerala when the bus met with the accident.
On the way to the famous tourist destination, the driver lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a hairpin curve at Vimalapuram around 12.30 p.m. Consequently it overturned and fell down several metres onto the road below. Four of the passengers got trapped beneath the bus. A bulldozer had to be used to extricate them.
The injured students were rushed to a private hospital at Rajakkad as well as the St Johns Hospital at Kattappana. Since some of the students were in a critical condition, they were shifted to the taluk hospital at Adimaly.
A student who escaped with minor injuries told newspersons that altogether 45 persons were on board the bus (registeration no KL 26A 5006) including the driver and cleaner.
Five of the seven deceased have been identified so far. They are: Sreejesh, Jithin, Shaiju, Vignesh and Sharatchandran. Bodies of three victims are currently kept in the mortuary of the private hospital at Rajakkad, and another three bodies in the taluk hospital at Adimaly.
A control room has been set up at Adimaly. Anybody interested in obtaining more details about the victims can contact 04864 222145/9497932425/9497990054.
Incidentally, the principal of the engineering college claimed that all the students involved in the mishap were actually on study leave. They did not inform the college authorities about their plans to go to tourist hotspots, he said and pointed out that none of the lecturers or professors joined the students on their ill-fated pleasure trip.