Several injured as bus carrying Sabarimala pilgrims overturns near Laha

The incident happened near Laha in Kerala's Pathanamthitta on Saturday. Photo: Manorama

Pathanamthitta: Over 20 people were injured after a bus carrying Sabarimala pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh met with an accident and overturned near Laha, about 40 km from the hill shrine, on Saturday.

All the 44 pilgrims, travelling in the vehicle, were rescued and shifted to nearby hospitals, district administration officials here said.

Four, who were seriously injured, have been admitted to the Pathanamthitta General Hospital. One of them, a child, is in critical condition.

Eighteen others with minor injuries were admitted to the community health centre at Perinadu, near Ranni.

Three, who were trapped under the bus, were rescued after an hour-long operation.

The accident occurred as the bus was on its way to Sabarimala.

Police, Fire force personnel, motor vehicle department officials and the locals jointly coordinated a swift rescue mission, which reduced the gravity of the accident.

Health Minister Veena George, who reached the spot, made arrangements for the rescue operation and further treatment of the pilgrims.

Higher officials including the District collector and District police chief also reached the spot.

The Sabarimala pilgrimage, which began on Thursday, attracts close to 50 million devotees every year.

The Kerala Government has taken a slew of measures to ensure a smooth pilgrimage. Pilgrims have been barred from availing tourist vehicles to make the journey to the hill shrine.

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