Five of picnic party drown in Damodar at Heerapur
Kolkata: Five youths, who were a part of a 12-member team that went for a picnic on the bank of Damodar at Heerapur on Sunday, drowned in the river. Their bodies have been fished out on Monday morning.
The victims have been identified as Debabrata Roy, Pratik Nandy, Shindu Kazi, Rahul Debnath and Richoy Chatterjee. The victims were all around 21 years old and were residents of the Sripally area of West Burdwan.
According to the police, six people from the group were taking bath at waist-deep water when all of them were suddenly swept away by the current. The incident has sparked sensation during year-end celebrations in the industrial town of Asansol in Burdwan.
One of the six victims, Souvik Basu, who was swept away by the current, was later rescued by the other members of the team, an eye-witness told police.
The five bodies were fished out on Monday morning by the experts of Disaster Management squad. The bodies were later sent to a nearby hospital for autopsy.
The local residents alleged that the accident took place when the victims had stepped into the quicksand on the river bed and were sucked deep into the water. A local resident said that people often come for picnics on the river bank.
It may be mentioned that the district administration and police had taken initiatives to keep a check on the revellers in the area. According to a senior police officer, a ban had been imposed on going into the river in those areas due to strong currents.
The local residents also raised questions on police surveillance in the area. Debasis Roy, a local resident, said that the police must be vigilant enough to restrict people from organising picnics on the river bank, which often causes accidents in the area.
The police and disaster management team carried out the rescue operation throughout the night on New Year's eve. Divers were also engaged to recover the victims' body. It has been learnt that the body of one of the victims was caught in a fisherman's net on Monday morning.
Following the incident, the disaster management team started a search operation in the area and recovered the bodies of the other four.