What was otherwise a happy occasion ended in a tragedy with the drowning of three youngsters in the Sarada on Wednesday.

Pappu Santosh of Thummapala in Anakapalle mandal invited 12 of his childhood friends for his ‘upanayanam’ (thread ceremony). After the event, Santosh’s brother Muralikrishna took them to an irrigation canal of the river. While others were having fun on the banks, four persons ventured into the water flowing on the sluice and were walking when suddenly they slipped due to the presence of algae and fell into the canal.

Anakapalle Town Inspector G. Chandra said that the victims were identified as K.V. Amarnadh (20), a B.Tech student of MVGR College of Engineering, Vizianagaram, T. Pridviraj (19), an engineering student from Vijayawada, and Santosh’s brother Muralikrishna (19), who had dropped out of studies after SSC.

The fourth person was rescued by some washermen working at that spot.

The bodies were fished out and sent for post-mortem. Police are investigating the case.

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