The tragic incident unfolded on Wednesday at the second turn of Wayanad Ghat Road, resulting in the unfortunate demise of 32-year-old Rasheeda Shihab. Shockingly, the accident might have been averted with the implementation of adequate signage and safety measures.
Residents emphasized a critical flaw in the safety infrastructure, particularly at the demolished sidewall spanning approximately 15 meters. This perilous zone lacked proper signage, except for two inconspicuous signals. KP Rasheed from Adivaram highlighted the post-accident installation of signboards, stating, “Apart from the minuscule triangular signs, the only other markers were small granite pieces. These indicators are easily overlooked during heavy rainfall. It is evident that there is a significant risk of major accidents when two vehicles meet on this treacherous stretch.”
The immediate response to the incident came from the Churam Samrakshana Samithi volunteers, who bravely initiated rescue efforts despite heavy rain. Samithi president Moidu Muttayi recounted, “An ambulance driver from Pulppally, a volunteer of our Samithi, first alerted us, stating that a car in front of him had veered off the road into the valley around 9:30 pm.” The crucial information prompted swift action, involving the Fire and Rescue Services, local police, and their own mobilized volunteers. Moidu Muttayi emphasized, “The outcome for the victims would have been vastly different had we not taken swift action.” The demanding rescue operation persisted for over three hours, highlighting the challenges faced in the rugged terrain.
The ill-fated car, returning from Kozhikode International Airport in Karipur, plunged into a 60-foot gorge on the perilous second turn of Wayanad Ghat Road. Rasheeda Shihab’s life was tragically cut short in this devastating incident.