Madikeri: Four months after catastrophic floods and landslides struck the northern hilly areas of Madikeri and Somwarpet Taluks in Kodagu district, landslides due to loose soil continue to take lives. Two women were buried alive when earth caved in while they were doing some digging work to construct a compound wall of a house at Madikeri yesterday.
The women, migrant labourers, were trapped inside the soil along with one more labourer who was rescued. They were digging the soil to lay the foundation for the compound of a house when the earth under their feet gave way. Officials and the Police attributed the accident to loose soil that has not yet stabilised after the natural calamity.
The incident, occurred on the Race Course Road, has sent shockwaves among the residents of Madikeri who are yet to come to terms with loss of lives and properties due to flash floods and landslips that occurred in the second week of August this year. Those living near undulating terrain are staring at the danger of lands caving in.
The women have been identified as 45-year-old Gowramma from Belur in Hassan district and 40-year-old Yeshoda from Maderahalli in Chikkamagaluru. Gowramma’s husband Masha Bovi who went under the earth miraculously escaped. He was pulled out from the ground by rescuers. The labourers were working at the house of one Ramesh and were laying foundation to build a compound wall.
In all, over six labourers were engaged in building the compound wall of the huge house whose structure has been completed. As over five workers were digging the earth yesterday evening, a 20-feet mound of mud collapsed and simultaneously, the earth caved-in, trapping all the five workers.
Seeing their fellow workers going under the ground, Savitha and Honna Bovi, who were working just a few feet from the accident site, rushed to the spot and pulled out Nanjunda. Savitha and Honna Bovi said that even the land under their feet collapsed but could somehow manage to climb to a safe place.
As loads of mud had fallen on Masha Bovi, Yeshoda and Gowramma, Savitha and Honna Bovi could not rescue them. Immediately they alerted Ramesh who in turn alerted the Police, Fire Department, and District authorities. After digging the ground for almost half an hour, Masha Bovi was rescued. He was sobbing as rescuers pulled him out from the mud and told him that his wife was yet to be rescued.
The fate of Gowramma and Yeshoda was sealed as they could not be rescued. Doctors tried administering life-saving fluids to their bodies in the hope of revival but they had already breathed their last. Following the incident, the house owner Ramesh has been taken into custody and is being interrogated.
Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah, MLC Sunil Subramani, Kodagu Superintendent of Police Dr. Suman Pennekar visited the mishap spot.