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Hyderabad tourists' car falls into Kottayam canal, Google Maps shows wrong route

Hyderabad tourists' car falls into Kottayam canal, Google Maps shows wrong route


Kottayam: A group of four tourists from Hyderabad had a narrow escape when their car plunged into a canal at Kulapantala in the wee hours of Saturday. The tourists said they were on their way to Alleppey following Google Maps directions when the accident occurred around 3 am. Blindly trusting a popular navigation app, they took a left turn, which caused their luxury SUV (Ford Endeavour) to fall into the canal.

Soon after the accident, one of the passengers escaped from the car. He called local residents, who asked for help to save two men and one woman trapped inside the SUV. Fire brigade personnel and police soon joined the rescue operation. Police said no passengers were injured in the accident. The passengers escaped when the car crashed into the riverbank. They had to break the windows. The car was swept forward about 150 metres before sinking. Police, with the help of local workers, pulled the car out of the canal on Saturday morning. Some items were lost, but two trolley bags were recovered from the car.

Cars being removed from the canal. Photo: Manorama

The driver told reporters he was unable to locate the canal as he thought the road was flooded, and was driving at 10 kilometres per hour due to the heavy rain. “We realised the accident had happened when the back of the car started to sink. The car continued to move through the gusts of wind and we were trapped inside. We managed to escape the car through a window,” one of the passengers said.

According to locals, the area has seen a lot of accidents for the past 15 years. “There are no anti-crash signs which could have saved the passengers,” a local resident told Manorama News. “Actor Rajan P Dev's car also had an accident here a few years ago. There are warning signs but they are not visible during rains. Sometimes when car owners go to the river to wash their cars, they remove them. The panchayat needs to install bigger signs,” a resident said.

This is not the first incident reported in Kerala. In October last year, two junior doctors died in a road accident after following Google Maps directions and falling into a river. Following that incident, the Kerala Police had issued cautionary guidelines on the use of the technology during the monsoon season. (Courtesy of PTI)




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