Liquor lorry falls into gorge; Driver dies as police try to save liquor bottles
Moolamattam (Idukki): The driver of a lorry loaded with liquor was killed in a mishap after the vehicle fell into a 150-feet-deep gorge here on Tuesday. The man died after being trapped under the beer cases. The locals alleged that the driver died after the police stopped rescue mission inorder to protect the liquor.
The driver was identified as Thodupuzha Vengallur native Ismail (47). The lorry was carrying 503 cases of beer (3923.4 litre) from Thodupuzha beverages godown to Stone Age beer parlour in Cheruthoni. The mishap took place at Nadukani in Kulamavu on the Thodupuzha-Puliyanmala state highway on Tuesday by 4 pm.
Though the locals raised suspicion that the driver might have been trapped under the beer cases, police claimed that he had already moved to a safe place. Finally, Ismail was found unconscious beneath the pile of liquor cases when people from his neighbourhood came in search of him by 5.30 pm.
He was rushed to a private hospital at Moolamattam, but his life could not be saved. His relatives alleged that the man lost his life as the police did not let the locals search for him. But Kulamavu police claimed that one of Ismail’s relatives informed them that he escaped already.
The locals were stopped from going near the lorry as police feared they may take liquor bottles from the lorry. Later, Excise CI K. M. Shaji and team handed over 100 cases of beer which was remained intact in the lorry to the beer parlour.
Ismail’s body is presently kept in the mortuary of a private hospital in Thodupuzha and will be handed over to relatives after post-mortem at district hospital on Wednesday. Ismail is survived by wife Nabeesa, and children Aisha and Hussain (Shiyas).