A startling piece of news, a group of people who Monday entered the Kollidam River close to Poondi were carried away by the water current. The bodies of the victims have been discovered, but a few more are still missing, says the reports. They were reportedly a part of a 52 members pilgrimage party to Poondi Madha Shrine. Thiru Karti Pali Fire and Rescue team reached the spot and after searching for several hours, they retrieved the bodies.
On Monday, September 3, fifty-two people departed from Thuthukudi for a pilgrimage to the Poondi Madha Shrine. Six people were lost to the river's current while the group was on the banks of the Kollidam river while they were traveling. Unexpectedly, the swift water current carried them all away.
When the villagers heard their cries, they hurried to assist and called the Thirukattupalli police and the Fire and Rescue Services, who came and retrieved Charles and Prithiviraj's bodies. The bodies of David and Praveen Raj were discovered by the rescue service personnel after more than six hours of searching, according to police sources.
"The incident must have taken place around 7 am. As soon as we were informed, we reached the spot. Five bodies were found on Monday and today (Tuesday) we found one more body," a police officer noted.
The ones who went missing were identified as D Charles (38), D Prithviraj (39), T Issac (19), David (32), S Kermel (19), and S Praveen Raj (19). The bodies whom the rescue team managed to find have been sent to Thiruvaiyuru government hospital for post-mortem.
"Every year during the holidays, our villagers used to travel to these holy sites (Poondi and Velankanni). As the children's quarterly holidays began on October 1, 54 people, including 20 women and 10 children, had travelled by bus to Poondi and Velankanni on Sunday "a member of one of the victims' family said.
"Even though the majority of them can swim, the strong current carried them away. When they saw the threatening river current, they ought to have safely taken a bath "added the relative.
Collector Dinesh Ponraj Oliver, Poondi Madha Shrine Rector Rev. Fr Samson, and Vice-Rector Rev. Fr Ruban Antoniraj all paid a visit to the scene, oversaw the search effort, and expressed sympathy to the victims' families. Following the autopsy, the six victims' bodies were given to their families and transported in three ambulances to Tuticorin.