Kochi: An outing by four friends turned tragic on Wednesday when three of them drowned in an abandoned quarry at Pettamala, four kms from Kuruppumpaddy Town near Perumbavur.
The deceased were identified as Abhijith (19), an Aquaculture course student of St Albert’s College, Ernakulam, Sravan (17), a plus two student at Vidhaydhiraja Vidya Bhavan Higher Secondary School, Aluva, and Vinayak (18), a second year B Sc student of St Paul’s College, Kalamassery. However, Akshay (18), an engineering student, escaped and had to witness the tragic incident.
According to cops, the incident took place at 1 pm when Abhijith swam to the other end of the quarry and tried to take a selfie. He slipped from the rock on which he was standing and fell into the deep part of the quarry. His two friends, Sravan and Vinayak, too had reached the other end but drowned while trying to save Abhijith, police said.
"All four were natives of Kalamassery and friends. They arrived at Pettamala as part of the Onam trip. There are several quarries there. The one they ventured into was filled with rainwater and some parts are so deep that even the scuba team could not reach down. The biting cold and the weeds underneath often turn them into virtual death traps," said R. Rajesh, Sub Inspector, Kodanad.
Rahul Sivan, a painting worker who was fishing in the vicinity, rushed to the scene after being alerted by Vinayak. However, he could not save the boys and later fished out two bodies. "The other boy in the group told me one more person was in the water. But I found it dangerous to venture beyond a point because of the depth and strong undergrowth in the water," Sivan said.
Soon scuba teams from Kothamangalam and Moovattupuzha were summoned and the body of Abhijith too was taken out. The Kodanad police registered a case of unnatural death (section 174 IPC).