September 21, 2015
The recent tragic deaths of two brothers, Dinesh (21) and Suresh (24), near the Vana Badrakaliamman Temple have prompted the Mettupalayam district collector to appoint a team of experts to determine the chain of events that caused the deaths.
The two brothers, residents of Ooty, were contract employees of a building construction company. They had come to Mettupalayam to attend a family ceremony. The boys were on their own when they visited the temple, and decided to swim. “One of the boys was caught in a whirlpool. The other attempted to rescue him, but the whirlpool overpowered him and he drowned too,” Senthil Kumar, owner of an ambulance service, said.
Onlookers realized that the boys were missing and immediately called the police. Fire and rescue personnel took more than an hour to recover the lifeless bodies of the brothers. Post mortems were carried out at Mettupalayam General Hospital and the bodies were sent back to Ooty via a private ambulance.
The water body near Vana Badrakaliamman Temple witnesses abnormally high fatal drowning accidents because most tourists who visit the site are not familiar with the strong whirlpools in the Bhavani River near the temple. Five years ago, the annual death toll was more than 100. “We had put up a board warning people of the powerful whirlpools. This has helped reduce drowning deaths in the area,” Mettupalayam Municipal Chairman D. Satheesh Kumar said.
‘Namma Mettupalayam,’ the recently constituted awareness group, is working with the authorities to find ways to bring down the number of drowning deaths near Vana Badrakaliamman Temple.