Abnormal drift of water carries 5 members of Management of Hanwella garment factory
A tragic incident was reported of five officers of the executive grade of Hanwella garment factory who went to have a bath at Daluk oya in Kosgama area, Panwila were carried away by a sudden surge of water which accompanied day-before-yesterday’s (7) torrential rains and were finally drowned to death.
This group which consisted of 19 individuals had arrived in Panwila, Kosgama day-before-yesterday (7) and had lodged in the same area and had later set off to have a bath around 2 in the afternoon at
This group were 19 officers of the executive grade from a garment factory in Hanwella and they had joined in this trip because of the annual holidays. Even though the caretakers of the lodging place had constantly advised the crowd not to get down to the stream because of the rainy weather conditions, they had responded saying that they would only from the banks of the oya and had set off with those words. At the time this incident took place though there was a rainy weather condition prevailing, there had been no imminent signs of rain as such. However, with the heavy downpour which fell on Horton Plains a huge surge of water which came down abruptly this tragedy would have resulted, those nearby had commented. An elderly person in the area said that he had never seen such a surge of water in Daluk oya which had a heavy slope. He further said that that heavy flow of water was actually over 4 feet in height. With the gush of water two young men and three young females had been cornered by a large rock which stood in the middle of the stream while the rest of the crowd had got ashore to the south bank, villagers said. Eye-witnesses told that when waters of the oya began rising, another huge surge of water had gushed in covering the rock and the group who were cornered at the centre of the rock had then been instantly washed away.
Within the space of a few minutes the community police unit and villagers who arrived on the scene though had tried to rescue the victims, the gush of water in the oya has become a stumbling block for their efforts, police say. Villagers also said that bodies of the victims who were carried away in the oya which consisted of heavy slopes and large rocks may have encountered severe damage in the process.
Senerath Silva who made an attempt to rescue the group who were thus drowned had this to say: “We came to hear of a group who had gone to bathe been carried away. Some of us went there. Initially we came across a female body. After that the flow of water began to escalate. Subsequently when the waters receded, we managed to find the other body”. Bodies of the dead victims were recovered at two locations about a kilometre away from where the incident took place only two hours after the incident. Two other bodies were found close to the access entrance of a private hydraulic station established on the Hulu ganga and villagers say that the three other dead bodies were recovered approximately 500 metres away stuck inside between two rocks, villagers said.
The 5 dead victims were Sherline Andrea (26) from Ampitiya, Kandy, Gajana Sivanathan (26) living in Moratuwa, Nushan Niyas (27) from Ratmalana, Manjula Susil (30) and Madushan Priyankara Premakumara (28) of Kirindiwela. Mr. Norman Costa,Inquirer into Sudden Deaths of Pathadumbara, Udagampaha Korale visited the scene of the incident and subsequently directed the five dead bodies to the specialist consultant of Kandy hospital. Panwila police are conducting further investigations.