8 Sabarimala pilgrims killed after van overturns near Kumily; 2 injured

The van overturned onto a penstock pipe on the Kumily-Cumbum route, killing eight pilgrims who were returning home from Sabarimala, on Friday, December 23, 2022. Photo: Manorama

Kumily: Eight Sabarimala pilgrims were killed after the van carrying them overturned near Lower Camp in Theni district of Tamil Nadu on Friday night. The accident happened close to the Kerala border at the seventh curve on the ghat section of the Kumily-Cumbum road. 

Two others, including a child, sustained grievous injuries. 

The injured child has been admitted to a hospital in Kumily, while the other injured person is under treatment at the Cumbum General Hospital in Tamil Nadu. The bodies of the pilgrims are also at the latter hospital.
The accident happened around 11 pm on Friday. 

As per reports, the driver of the van, which was carrying 10 pilgrims, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn. 

The pilgrims, all natives of Andipatti in Theni were returning home from the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala. 

The incident happened near the first penstock pipe that carries water from the Mullapperiyar Dam to Tamil Nadu. The van overturned onto the pipe, falling around 40 feet from the road and was completely wrecked. 

As per reports, the vehicle, which came up a hairpin curve, hit a tree and fell down on to the giant pipe. 

The bridge where the incident happened is narrower than other roads as one penstock is laid on the side.

Excessive speed and the driver's lack of experience on the tricky route likely caused the accident, stated the police. 
Kumily police and local residents rushed to the spot first. They were then joined by the Cumbum police and the Fire and Rescue Service personnel. 

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