Pathanamthitta: There are accusations that the death of the man during a mock drill conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority here was due to delay in rescue operations. Binu Soman (34) drowned in the presence of the NDRF and Air Force. Four people, including Binu, came for the mock drill due to the intervention of the grama panchayat.
During the mock drill, the officials directed the four locals to get into the river so that the rescue officers could approach by boat. Unfortunately, Binu got trapped and submerged in the mud in the river even before the rescuers arrived on the boat. The team rescued him following an operation of nearly half an hour.
When they got Binu into the boat, its engine was not working. The boat was brought to the shore by rowing and tying it to a rope. He was taken to a private medical college hospital in Thiruvalla by ambulance. Local residents alleged that there was no oxygen facility in the ambulance.