Hyderabad tourists' car plunges into Kottayam canal as Google Maps shows wrong route

People try to remove car from canal. Photo: Manorama

Kottayam: A four-member team of tourists from Hyderabad had a narrow escape after their car fell into a canal at Kurappanthara here in the wee hours of Saturday. The tourists said they met with the accident at around 3am while heading to Alappuzha by following the directions shown on Google Maps. The luxury SUV (Ford Endeavour) plunged into the canal when the driver took a left turn blindly trusting the popular navigation app.

One of the passengers managed to escape from the vehicle soon after the accident. He alerted the local residents and sought help to save the two men and a woman who were trapped inside the SUV. Soon fire force personnel and the police joined the rescue operation. None of the passengers sustained injuries in the accident, police said. The passengers climbed outside the vehicle when it hit the banks of the river. They had to break open the windows. The vehicle drifted forward around 150 metres before sinking. On Saturday morning, police, with the help of local workers, lifted the vehicle out of the canal. Though some items were lost, two trolley bags were recovered from the vehicle. 

Car removed from the canal. Photo: Manorama

Talking to the media, the man behind the wheels said that he could not identify the canal as he assumed that it was a water-logged road. He added that he was driving at a speed of 10 kmph due to heavy rain. "We realised the accident when the rear end of the vehicle started sinking. The vehicle kept moving in the gusty water and we got trapped in it. We managed to escape from the car through the window," said a passenger.

According to local residents, the region has been prone to accidents for the past 15 years. There are no sign boards of crash guards that could have saved the passengers, local residents told Manorama News.
"Actor Rajan P Dev's vehicle had also met with an accident here years ago. Though there are warning signs, they cannot be spotted during the rain. Sometimes vehicle owners remove the warning signs when they visit the river to wash their cars. A bigger signboard needs to be installed by the panchayat," they said.

This is not the first such incident reported in Kerala. In October last year, two young doctors died in a car accident which occurred after they allegedly followed directions on Google Maps and fell into a river. Following the incident, the Kerala police had issued cautionary guidelines for using the technology during the monsoon season.
(With PTI inputs)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.