The 300-kg creature got stuck in a two-and-half-foot manhole on S V Road near Milan subway
In a freak accident, a full-grown cow weighing over 300 kg slipped and fell into an open manhole, not more than two-and-a-half feet in diameter, bringing the traffic on the bustling SV Road in Santacruz (West) to almost a standstill for over four hours.
The cow was traumatised after the incident, said its caretaker, and refused fodder and water for a long time
According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred around 6.15 am, Friday, near Milan subway, when the cow’s hind legs slipped into the open manhole, which is filled with gutter water. The event turned into a morning show for pedestrians, but a sticky situation for motorists.
The pit was barricaded for reconstruction
“With her hind legs and rump stuck inside the open cavity, she could not pull herself out and slid bottom first, almost vertically, into the gutter.
|Wahid Dariyavardi called up the fire brigade after the accident|
Within the next gruelling 20 minutes she immersed, inch by inch, in four feet of water, sustaining injuries to her spine,” said Wahid Dariyavardi (30), who works at a petrol pump right across the road, where the accident occurred. He was the one to call the fire brigade, which arrived at the scene promptly.
Dinesh Diwedi, the petrol pump manager, accused the local taxi and rickshaw owners of leaving the manhole uncovered. “It is a morning ritual for these drivers to open the metallic lid and draw the gutter water to wash their vehicles. Some inconsiderate driver is responsible for what happened. Being a large animal, it could be spotted. What if a child had fallen in?” he said.
Two fire brigades and personnel from BMC’s H/West ward were seen frantically digging up the manhole for over four hours with their JWC trucks. “We could see the cow, but there was no way we could reach around and harness it. The only choice we had was to widen the mouth of the manhole to the size of a 7x4 feet rectangular pit, to safely rescue the poor animal,” said a fire brigade official.
Ram Naresh, the cow’s owner, informed that the animal and the woman herding her were on their routine early morning walk to the local temple. “It was an emotional moment for us when she was rescued. The cow is so traumatised that it did not eat her fodder or drink water for hours,” he said. The BMC personnel barricaded the spot with bamboos to avoid further mishaps, before the pit could be covered and the manhole reconstructed.