Kothamangalam/Ernakulam: Following Google Maps, Thrissur Wadakkancherry natives Gokuldas (23), Isahakh (29) and Musthfa (36) were travelling to Munnar via Palamattam-Avolichal road on Thursday at midnight. As they approached Injathotti near Palamattam they fell into a 30-feet deep ditch that is filled with 8 feet of water.            

The trench was dug up for a bridge construction and the PWD and contract workers had not set up warning signs on both sides. The travelling trio did not notice the ditch in the dark until they reached the edge of it. Though the driver tried to swerve the car to avoid the ditch upon noticing it, it was too late, and he lost control of the vehicle which plummeted in to the water filled trench.

According to Mathrubhumi reports, one of the injured, Gokuldas said that because the windows of the car were open, they were able to escape. They did not know to how to swim and hung on to the car until help arrived. They were helped by 6 people who were headed back home after completing their night shift in a rubber manufacturing company at Pothupara. The 6 included Benny, Roy and Kuttachan, who are natives of Punnekkad.

The rescue team stated that they heard the three men scream for help and soon set on to help them. They tied dhotis together and lower it to the ditch. The three were then got out of the ditch and were taken to a nearby house.

They sustained minor injuries on the head and chest. They lost Rs 12000 and three cell phones. In the morning, the natives searched the area and found Rs 4000 and one phone. Using a crane they were able to fish the car out of the water by the afternoon.

The locals stated that the PWD failed to set up appropriate signs of warning. Google maps show the Palamattam-Avolichal route to Munnar as a shortcut from Ernakulam.

* Image used for representation purpose only