Stunned by Sunday's accident that claimed four lives at an unmanned level crossing, the people of Mararikulam have reacted to prevent such incidents in future.

Without waiting for the Railways to post personnel to man the gate, the Mararikulam north panchayat and a people's forum on Monday installed a bamboo gate at the crossing, which they themselves will operate. The “people's gate,” as they call it, was inaugurated by district panchayat president R. Nazar in the presence of a large gathering that earlier paid homage to the departed souls.

According to Mararikulam north panchayat president D. Priyesh Kumar, though several members of the public volunteered to man the gate, the panchayat will recruit a gateman to do the same.

The nearby Poopallykavu temple authorities have come forward to bear the expenses for the gate, which has been installed 10 metres away from the railway tracks, and for the personnel too, he said.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the German couple, Manfred Herbert Gustav Rudolf Hoepfner and Katrin-Susanne Hoepfner, were taken to a private hospital in Ernakulam for embalming after a post-mortem was conducted at the Alappuzha General Hospital here on Monday. The bodies were received by Syed Ibrahim, representative of the German consulate and honorary director of the Thiruvananthapuram-based German Cultural Centre.

The children of the couple, Max-Loc and Rupa, are still at the resort with another German couple who were staying at the resort. They will be handed over to relatives of the family, who will arrive in Ernakulam from Strasberg, Germany, on Tuesday to take away the bodies as well.

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