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Cases of 'lost and found' amid tales of woes

The Kumali Government Hospital, where the bodies of Sabarimala stampade victims were rushed for post mortem, witnessed touching scenes.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2011 18:35 IST

The Kumali Government Hospital, where the bodies of Sabarimala stampade victims were rushed for post mortem, witnessed touching scenes.

A steady stream of people from adjoining areas Tamil Nadu had begun to pour in to the border town of Kumali since Saturday morning in search of their near and dear ones.

There are also stories of some members of the same batches dying in stampede while others surviving the tragedy only to go back without the companions with whom they set out on the pilgrimage a few days back.

Many found it difficult to suppress tears on looking at the cold, stiff bodies of their relatives or friends who had been with them till a few hours back.

Some others heaved a sigh of relief on knowing that the dear ones they were searching survived unscathed.

A mourning pilgrim from Karnataka said he was finding it hard to think of accompnying the body of a 23-year-old youth who had come with him.

"We did not think that a cruel fate is store for us till the moment it happened. We were rushing down through the Pullumedu after having glimpses of the 'Makarajyoti' when it all happened", said 38-year-old Venkappa.

"Our group stood near a bridge and after seeing the jyoti, we stepped down. I felt like a rush initially...but did not think everthing was going beyond control," he told PTI.

They later had a rude shock when came to know Hanumand Gowda Patel, a 23-year old member of their group, succumbed to injuries.

Meanwhile, a group from Tamil Nadu was in the excitement of getting back a 9-year old boy in their group who went missing since the time of tragedy.

They identified the child (Young devotees are called 'Manikantas' which was the childhood name of Lord Ayyappa) among the injured at the hospital.

Post Mortem of around 93 bodies had been completed by afternoon and police and hospital authorities were taking every steps to send the dead bodies to their home places without any delay.

A total of 37 dead bodies, including those of from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, had already been sent to the respective destinations, hospital officials said.

Eighty Six doctors and 305 other health staff, from various hospitals in Alappuzha, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts, were attending the stampede victims here.

Thirty one ambulances were deployed to bring the dead and injured ones from the spot and send them to their native places.