A 24-year-old man from Piprani village in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur district was washed away by the Chambal river, on Friday, when he tried to wade across the rocky river bed to rescue any survivors of the crashed IAF aircraft.

Nawal Ra'ov alias Kallah, a street performer in Raghunathpur, rushed from his village after seeing the Hercules aircraft crash on the western bank of the Chambal in Rajasthan's Karauli district. The river divides the two States. According to Chambal's Inspector General of Police Dinesh Chand Sagar, the river is undulating with sharp rocks rivulets and sudden flows of varying depth.

“Villagers rushed towards the burning fuselage in anxiety. Kallah, along with his peers, attempted to cross the river on foot as no boat was available. His friends say they saw him washed away. His body has not yet been recovered,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Sagar explained that despite the requirement for boats for patrolling during monsoons, elections and anti-dacoity raids, individual police stations have still not been sanctioned boats. “The Home Guard in Gwalior has a couple of boats and we either hire private boats or take them from the Forest Department when needed. If there were survivors we could have reached faster than the Rajasthan Police if we had boats,” he added.