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Kasaragod: Two youths en route to a hospital using Google Maps in Kerala’s northernmost Kasaragod district inadvertently drove their car into a swollen river. Miraculously, they escaped unscathed as their vehicle got stuck in a tree. 

Footage of Fire Force personnel rescuing them from the overflowing river in Pallanchi went viral on social media platforms on Sunday. The youths managed to contact the rescuers only because their vehicle, swept away by water currents, got stuck in the tree.

The rescued youths said they were en route to a hospital in neighboring Karnataka in the early hours and were using Google Maps for navigation.

Abdul Rasheed, one of the youths, mentioned that Google Maps directed them to a narrow road, which they followed. “Using the vehicle’s headlight, we felt that there was some water in front of us. But, we didn’t see that there was a river on both sides and a bridge in the middle. There was also no sidewall for the bridge,” he told a TV channel.

The car suddenly began to get carried away in the water currents but later got stuck in a tree on the shores of the river. By this time, they managed to open the car door, come out of the vehicle and contacted the Fire Force personnel by sending them the location. Later, Fire Force personnel rushed to the place and pulled out the two men to safety using ropes.

“We never thought that we could come back to life. We truly feel that it is a rebirth,” Rasheed added.

Last month, a group of tourists from Hyderabad drove into a swollen stream near Kuruppanthara in Kottayam apparently after using Google Maps. All four managed to escape unharmed due to the efforts of a nearby police patrol unit and local residents, but their vehicle was completely submerged.

(With PTI inputs)

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