Delay in serving breakfast saved couple's lives

They were on their way to Badrinath

Delay in serving breakfast saved couple's lives

The delay in serving breakfast at a hotel in Uttarakashi district in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand saved the lives of an elderly couple from Vijayanagar in the City, who were on a package tour to north India.

And, there was celebration at the Bangalore City Railway Station on Sunday afternoon when the sexagenarian couple Keshav Raju and Sumitramma, arrived here by the
Karnataka Express after virtually escaping death in the hill state.

Raju, a retired employee of Hindustan Aeronautic Limited and Sumitramma, a homemaker, were on their first visit to north India. The couple had booked tickets for a month-long tour package through a private operator in the City to visit various places in north India. “I have vastly travelled during my service but this was the first time I was touring north India along with my wife,” Raju said.

On June 15, the couple halted at Barkot in Uttarakashi district and were scheduled to reach Badrinath the next day. “We were ready to go along with the first group that went in a bus. But the breakfast was not served on time. Therefore, we decided to go with the next group,” Sumitramma said.

A few minutes later, the couple was told by a bus driver that a bridge had collapsed near Badrinath and the first group that had left the hotel had been a victim of the tragic accident. The Bangalore couple immediately called off their trip and headed back to New Delhi.

“The entire region was beyond recognition. Vehicles had toppled on one another and  bodies of people and animals were floating in the waters,” Raju recollected.

Frantic calls

On learning of the flash floods in Uttarakhand, the couple’s elder daughter Kalyani contacted other family members who frantically tried to reach the couple.  “For the entire day on June 15, their phone was not reachable and we feared the worst. However, the next day my father called home and said that they are safe in Delhi and will be returning home,” Kalyani said.

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