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Boat drowned; 18 school children killed in Kerala
(Paul Ciniraj, Salem Voice Ministries)
Cochin (India), SVM News, 20 February, 2007: Tourist boat has drowned and number of school students below 12 years of age were killed in the Periyar river at Bhoothathankettu Dam reservoir at Thattekkad near Kothamangalom, which is around 35 miles away from Cochin in Kerala on Tuesday, the 20th of February at about 6.30 in the evening.

Thattekkad Bird Sanctury
According the reports, 18 dead bodies were found including three teachers by 9.30 at night. 
Local people including the members of the Salem Voice Ministries, navy, fire service and police are involving in rescue operations under A.P.M. Haneesh, the District Colector of Ernakulam.

Asokan at the dead bodies of his twin daughters Aswathy and Amrita
Ministers and leaders of the Kerala Government are rushing to the spot.
Dead bodies are kept at Kothamangalom Baselios and Dharmagiri hospitals.

Dead bodies of the children
Students and teachers of the Puliyanam St. Antony's Upper Primary School at Elavoor near Ankamali were on the excursion trip. Children were studying on 5th, 6th and 7th classes of the school.
More than hundred children and their teachers were going for the out trip in two buses.
On the evening they were going to Thattekkad bird sanctuary in three boats and the largest boat was capsized at around 6.30 pm.
We have got some of the names of those who died. Teachers: Annie Jose, Lissy Kuriakose, Sridevi Krishnan. children: Anjana, Sethulekshmi, Eldhose, Aswathy Asokan, Amrita Asokan, Swathy, Ajith Chandran, Anjali, Maria Vincent, Arjun, Mathew, Nikhil, Sijo, Prince, Robin Raphel.
I Visited the tragedy; It's heart-breaking
(Paul Ciniraj)
"And (Job) said, Nakked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1: 21).

A mother's last kiss to her child
I have visited Thattekkad (Kothamangalam), where the boat tragedy was occured and Elavoor (Ankamali), where the native of the dead children yesterday.

Joy (left) and Mary (right) crying aloud at the dead body of their son Jojo Joy. Joy, the father of Jojo is deaf and dumb. Jojo was the only one child of Joy and Mary.
12 dead bodies were buried yesterday. Others will be buried later, for some of their relatives have to come to see the dead bodies from far places. Among the 12 buried dead bodies Sijo, Robin Raphel, teacher Annie Jose were buried at Elavoor, Eldhos at Akaparambu, Mathew Simon at Peechanikkadu and Jojo Joy at Kunnappallisseri Church cemeterys. 

One of the teachers of Elavoor St. Antony's School
I attended some of their funaral services too.
Oh! I cannot describe the heart-breaking scenes.

Dead bodies for the public view at St. Antony's School
Please pray for the father, mother, grand-fathers, grandmothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, neighbours, relatives, teachers and friends of each child. Nobody can console them except our Lord.
Rev. Paul Ciniraj, Director,
Salem Voice Ministries,
Devalokam, Kottayam,
Kerala-686038, India
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