A 10-year-old girl died and several others were injured on Friday when their minibus went off the road and turned turtle at Erumely area of Kottayam district in Kerala while enroute to Sabarimala from Chennai for the ongoing annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage.
An officer of Erumely police station said the accident occurred between 3-3.30 pm when the vehicle was trying to navigate a treacherous hairpin curve there which is prone to accidents.
"A lot of accidents take place here as the road goes steep downhill right after the hairpin curve," she said.
The officer said it was believed that mechanical failure of the minibus was the cause for the accident, but it was not confirmed.
There were 20 pilgrims, including five children, and the driver in the bus, she said, adding that 12 people were admitted to the nearby medical college for treatment. "No one else suffered any major injuries," she said.
Earlier on November 19, as many as 43 people including a boy suffered injuries after a bus carrying Sabarimala pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh met with an accident and overturned near Laha in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district.
The annual two-month long pilgrimage season began on November 17 and the 41-day Mandala puja festival at the famed Lord Ayyappa Swamy shrine will conclude on December 27.
Thereafter, the temple will be opened again on December 30 for the Makaravilakku pilgrimage, which will end on January 14, 2023. The shrine will be closed on January 20, 2023 concluding the pilgrimage season.
-With PTI Input