Chennai, Jan 27 (): Two women and two children were said to be drowned at Punnamada Lake when the boat in which they were boarding overturned on Saturday. The dead included 37-year-old Rohini, her daughter Susmitha (12), Sukeshini (26) and her four-year old daughter Elakkia.
Eight others including a child were rushed to hospital, where the child is in the ICU and is in a critical condition. Deceased Rohini has been identified as wife of Manoj, assistant manager of Hearing Aid Centre at Nungambakkam in Chennai, said Alappuzha Collector Venugopal.
The people including the dead who travelled in the boat were part of a 63-member team which had the employees of the firm and the members of their families.
They reached Kochi on Saturday morning by Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram Mail and refreshed themselves staying at Kochi hotel and headed towards Punnmada Finishing Point which is the main point where people board houseboats in Alappuzha, said the police. The group was on a two-day trip to Kerala.
The accident took place at the Kayal Kurissadi boat jetty, where the group was likely to board a house boat for a daylong trip. One of the survivors in the group, Rajesh who has been admitted in the hospital said that the accident occurred when the team was boarding the houseboat kept ready for their sail.
Rajesh told that the boat was berthed by the side of another boat near the jetty and therefore the crew asked them to pass through the first boat to reach their boat. The boat started to tilt and lost balance when the two women and their children were passing along the boat berthed closer to the jetty, and capsized in nearly 20 feet deep water, added Rajesh.
Tomy Pulikattil of the Kerala Houseboat Owners’ Association said that the accident could have taken place due to insufficient number of boat jetties in the area. The bodies of the deceased have been sent in four ambulances to Chennai after conducting post-mortem at Alappuzha General Hospital, said Alappuzha collector Venugopal.