Ranni (Pathanamthitta): Two members of a group of three students drowned while bathing at Madatharuvi waterfall near Mandamaruthi. The incident shook the country at 1 pm on Thursday. The deceased have been identified as Jithu (14), son of Aji and Sabari (14), son of Pichanad Prasad. Jiju’s son Durgadathan (14) escaped from the accompanying Pariyar.
A group of three friends and neighbours came here to take a bath. When Durgadathan returned after picking up his mobile phone which was kept on the top of the rock, the locals came screaming when his friends went missing. The rescue operation was carried out after searching the area where it was thought to be hiding. Later, the locals tied ropes in the alley inside the rock and found the children and took them out. Both were handcuffed but could not save their lives. Firefighters and police arrived at the scene from Ranni on the information. The bodies were shifted to a private hospital in Ranni.
The waterfall is located far away from the settlement. It can only be reached on foot through a rough road. In summer, there are streams and waterfalls, but there are no security measures in place.