It had been a special day with an especially large crowd gathered to see the Makarajyothi near the Sabarimala shrine, all walking through a narrow, uneven jungle path, and the terrain hence made rescue and relief operations difficult.Scattered shoes and bags told a graphic story of fear, panic, pain and ultimately loss, as more than one lakh pilgrims scrambled over each other after a jeep lost control, and ran into them.
The incident took place seven kilometres away from the shrine on Friday night.The dead bodies have been taken to Vandiperiyar Hospital in Idukki. Of these, 54 have been identified. Some of the injured were rushed to Kottayam Medical College (Kerala) and Theni Medical College in Tamil Nadu.
“A jeep went out of control and went and hit the devotees who were there. People have been killed because of the crash and also because of the stampede. Most of the casualties happened because of the stampede according to preliminary reports.” Said Kerala’s Education Minister M A Baby