Manarcad, Kottayam: An inundated road in Kottayam claimed the life of a young taxi driver, even though people tried to pull out his car from the floodwaters.
Airport taxi driver Justin Joy, 26, was killed after his car was swept away by the strong currents on the flooded road near Nalumanikattu tourism centre around 1am on Sunday. The accident happened near Palamuri along the Ettumanoor-Manarcad bypass amid incessant rain.
The road at the Nalumanikattu tourism centre runs right through the paddy fields. The road is located 20ft above the paddy fields on either side.
After heavy rain lashed the area, the paddy fields were flooded and the rainwater submerged the road too.
Local people had tied a rope across the road to warn the travellers. However, some vehicles went past without heeding the warning sign, and the rope was broken.
A taxi driver at the Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery, Justin was returning after dropping off a passenger at Malappally in the district.
Justin had taken the same route to Malappally. During that time, the water level on the road was less. Therefore, he took the same road for the return journey.
However, Justin's car stopped in the middle of the flooded road. People in the neighbourhood tried to help him. A rope was tied to the vehicle and efforts were made to pull the car out of the water using a crane. However, the rope snapped and the car door also opened. Water gushed in and the car was swept away.
Though rescue workers and fire force personnel began search operations in the night itself, their efforts went in vain. The car was found from a flooded paddy field, 20 metres away from the road, by 2pm on Sunday. Justin was found dead in the car.
Justin, who hailed from Manjapra near Angamaly in Ernakulam district, is unmarried. He is survived by mother Leelamma, siblings Julie and Akhil (tourist bus driver).
This is the second tragedy to strike the family in two years. Justin's father Joy died due to heart attack during the August floods of 2018.