Wayanad: The accident on the second turn of the Wayanad Ghat Road on Wednesday, which caused the death of a woman, could have been prevented if there were adequate signage and safety measures.
Residents pointed to the fact that in the critical area, where the sidewall was demolished for approximately 15 meters, was notably lacking in proper signage, save for two small signals.
According to KP Rasheed, a resident of Adivaram, it was only after the accident that workers installed signboards. “Apart from the minuscule triangular signs, the only other markers were small granite pieces. These indicators are easily overlooked during heavy rainfall. It is evident that there is a significant risk of major accidents when two vehicles meet on this treacherous stretch,” he said.
The initial response to the incident came from the volunteers of the Churam Samrakshana Samithi, who valiantly initiated rescue efforts despite the heavy rain. Subsequently, the local police and fire brigade joined in.
“An ambulance driver from Pulppally, a volunteer of our Samithi, first alerted us, stating that a car in front of him had veered off the road into the valley around 9:30 pm,” samithi president Moidu Muttayi said. “We received this crucial information from him and promptly informed the Fire and Rescue Services and the police, while also mobilising our own volunteers. The outcome for the victims would have been vastly different had we not taken swift action,” he added. The gruelling rescue operation continued for over three hours.
The ill-fated car was returning from the Kozhikode International Airport in Karipur when it plunged into the 60-foot gorge on the treacherous second turn of the Wayanad Ghat Road. The victim of the accident has been identified as 32-year-old Rasheeda Shihab.