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Oct 3, 2009

Nine of Kovai family among victims


Fourteen tourists who died at the Thekkady boat capsize in the Mullaiperiayar waters in Kerala on Wednesday were from Tamil Nadu. Of the 14, nine were from Coimbatore and five were from Tiruchy.A pall of gloom has descended in Coimbatore as nine members of the same family, including children, were among those who died in the boat tragedy at the Thekkady reservoir on Wednesday.Panchalingam, 45, a resident of Palladam in Coimbatore, and his brother Ravichandran’s wife, Saraswathi, were the only two survivors from the family of 11 that went on a tour to Thekkady.

Ravichandran, residing at Periyakulam, had not joined his family on the tour.Panchalingam escaped as he did not board the boat. But, he lost his wife Sudha Devi, 33, and daughters — Ilakkiya, 12, and Pragadeswari, 8, — in the tragedy. Though Saraswathi was rescued, their two daughters, Dharani, 9, and Sandhya, 7, died.Along with them, his brother-in-law Jayaprakash, 40, a BSNL employee residing at Kurichi here, his wife Anusuya Devi, 35, a government schoolteacher, son Rahul, 6, and daughter Swathika, 2, too died.Also in the boat on a tour were Sekar (45) and his family along with his friend Surjit and his family.


“Half-an-hour after the boat set sail, the passengers spotted the herd of elephants on the shore and in all curiosity flocked to one side of the boat leading to the capsize. Then I lost track of the events and by the time I opened my eye I was onshore.” The double-decker boat that they had boarded had sunk in the lake in the Periyar wildlife sanctuary in Idukki district around 5 pm on Wednesday. There were 86 people on board the boat Jala Kanyaka

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