Kaup: In a harrowing incident on Thursday night near Mallaru Chandranagar, two lives were tragically cut short when a massive tree toppled onto an autorickshaw plying on the Kapu-Shirva road amidst heavy wind and rain.
The autorickshaw, en route from Kapu to Padoor, was struck by a falling tree, instantly trapping two passengers inside and resulting in their untimely demise. Pushpa Kulal, a 45-year-old resident of Padur near Kuralu Rice Mill, and Krishna, a 48-year-old resident of Kalathur, lost their lives in the tragic accident. Miraculously, the autorickshaw driver, identified as Sharif, managed to escape by jumping off the vehicle in the nick of time.
The impact of the fallen tree was devastating, completely wrecking the autorickshaw and pinning the passengers underneath it. Scores of individuals, including the police, MESCOM personnel, forest department officials, the fire brigade, and the locals, rallied together, setting aside societal divisions, to engage in the rescue operation.
For over an hour and a half, rescuers toiled diligently, utilizing an earthmover and crane to move the fallen tree. Unfortunately, the trapped passengers had succumbed to their injuries by the time the vehicle could be accessed. Subsequently, the lifeless bodies were transported to the Udupi District Hospital via ambulance.
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The incident site was overwhelmed by a gathering of thousands, prompting the intervention of police officers, including Kaup SI Suma B., Crime SI Bharetesh Kankanwadi, and staff, to maintain order and control the crowd. The constant influx of onlookers hindered the rescue operations, necessitating the collaborative efforts of the locals and law enforcement personnel to ensure a smooth process.
As a result of the incident, road traffic was severely disrupted, with alternate routes being temporarily designated for vehicles.
A second autorickshaw narrowly escapes:
Another autorickshaw narrowly evaded the falling tree. Prompt action by the driver allowed all passengers to escape with minor injuries. Sensing the imminent danger, the quick-thinking driver swiftly maneuvered the vehicle forward, causing it to overturn and leading to only minor injuries to the occupants.
Pushpa Kulal, who was returning home from Kapu at the time of the incident, leaves behind a devastated family, including her husband and two sons. Notably, she had been caring for her disabled brother, assuming a motherly role, making her untimely demise even more poignant. Whereas Krishna is survived by his wife and two sons, who now grapple with the pain of losing their beloved family member.