All the four victims who drowned in the Cauvery did not know swimming
The four persons who met with a watery grave in the Cauvery river apparently non-swimmers and were ignorant of the depth when they ventured into the water.
Sunday’s tragedy is a grim reminder of the drowning incidents that had been taking place over the years at Mukkombu, a tourist spot, also known as Upper Anicut in the upstream of Tiruchi.
Although many instances of victims getting trapped in quicksand and drowning at Mukkombu had been reported, the one at Perugamani is the first incident in recent times, according to police sources. On Sunday, around 200 people from Savarimedu left their homes at around 7.30 a.m. in goods carriers to Perugamani located about 8 km from the village.
According to an eye witness account, five persons, including Santhi, broke away from the group to take a dip and carry water in the holy pots for the temple festival.
“It all happened in a flash as we were sitting a few metres from the spot where the incident occurred,” said Periyasamy, a relative of the victim, at the Government Hospital.
It is said that just when the group found that five of them were missing after doing a head count before leaving for Savarimedu, came the alarm from a girl about the drowning.
The rescue of Santhi was timely as she was lifted from the water body just in time, said a senior police officer.
“We took the five to the nearby PHC, but on finding that there was none to provide medical assistance, we straight away drove to the Government Hospital in a bid to save them,” said a dejected Periasamy.
Efforts by the people proved futile as four of them were declared brought dead with Santhi alone being the survivor.
Santhi is undergoing treatment in the intensive medical care unit of a private hospital in the city.
Collector Jayashree Muralidharan later told The Hindu that it was a case of drowning and none of the victims could swim.
As a sequel to the incident, instructions had been given to the Public Works Department officials to inspect the spot at Perugamani, she added.