Lucky escape for bus passengers
KODAIKANAL: Landslides snapped road connectivity to the hill station, killing a car driver instantly, five km away from Dum Dum Rock, on the Batlagundu-Kodaikanal Ghat Road on Thursday morning.
Over 60 passengers travelling in a private bus to Kodaikanal from Batlagundu had a miraculous escape as the bus driver, who saw boulders falling on the road, stopped the vehicle and returned to the Batlagundu bus stand.
The dead person was identified as Nagaraj, a farm manager at Naidupuram. His body was retrieved from the debris and removed to the Periakulam Government Hospital.
Boulders, rocks, and debris that slid from 60-foot-high peak had filled the road to a distance of 150 feet, making rescue operation difficult. Collector P. Muthuveeran and Theni SP, R. Balakrishnan inspected the spot and monitored the rescue operation.
The ghat road was completely closed for traffic from 7 a.m. All buses to Kodaikanal were cancelled.
Two fire tenders from Batlagundu and 108 ambulance services were kept ready.
Joint Director of Health Services T. Jayabal was present. Seventy workers were engaged in the rescue operation.
Lack of communication was the biggest handicap at Kodaikanal. People have to go either to Oothu or Batlagundu to make telephone calls.
Mobile phone connectivity was poor on the ghat road.