Kerala: 9 women killed as jeep rolls down gorge in Wayanad
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Kerala: 9 women killed as jeep rolls down gorge in Wayanad

The jeep was returning to Makkimala with the women workers from the private tea estate

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Nine women working in a private tea estate were killed when a jeep they were travelling in fell into a gorge in Wayanad district on Friday (August 25), police said. Police confirmed that there were 14 people in the jeep, including the driver, when the mishap occurred at around 3.30 PM in the Valad-Mananthavady road.

"The jeep was returning to Makkimala with the women workers from the private tea estate," a local resident told the media. The jeep rolled off the road while negotiating a curve on a slope and fell into a gorge of around 25 metres depth, the locals said.

The victims were rushed to a hospital at Mananthavady but police said nine of them lost their lives.

"The condition of at least two people is serious," a senior police official told PTI.

The women were daily wage labourers at a nearby tea estate, police said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident. State Forest Minister A K Saseendran, who was in Kozhikode, rushed to the accident site as instructed by Chief Minister Vijayan.

Talking to reporters at Wayanad, Saseendran said the locals rushed to rescue the victims.

"As per reports, there were 14 passengers in that jeep. Five are injured. Unfortunately nine of them lost their lives. One woman, Latha (41), requires specialised treatment and will be shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital," he said.

State Health Minister Veena George expressed condolences and directed the district medical authorities to provide the best treatment to the injured.

She also asked the authorities to speed up the postmortem procedures and make use of more forensic surgeons' service if needed.

Expressing grief over the death of the plantation workers, CM Vijayan said the incident was "extremely saddening".

The CM had entrusted Minister Saseendran to rush to the accident site and coordinate the treatment and other matters of the victims, a CMO statement said.

Senior Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi said he was "deeply saddened" by the loss of lives in the jeep accident.

"Have spoken to the district authorities, urging a swift response. My thoughts are with the grieving families. Wish a speedy recovery to those injured," Gandhi posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said he was "extremely pained to hear" about the tragedy.

"In this hour of grief, our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts and empathy are with the injured and we wish them a speedy recovery," Kharge posted on X. PTI RRT LGK RRT KH

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