The bodies of two more engineering students of Annamalai University were recovered from the Palaman canal near the university at Chidambaram on Tuesday.

Ashish Ranjan Kumar (20), who was doing II year B.E (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) and Mohammad Sarfaraz Rab (20), II year B.E (Mechanical Engineering), hailed from Patna.

With this the number of students who drowned rose to three, taking the death toll to four. The two others who died were from Jharkhand.

Vice-Chancellor M. Ramanathan declared indefinite closure of the university, barring medical and dental faculties. Contact classes conducted by the Directorate of Distance Education would be conducted as scheduled.

A chain of events followed the death of Gautam Kumar (20), II year B.E (Electronics and Communication Engineering) student, in a road accident on S.P. Koil Street at Chidambaram on Sunday.

The episode prompted university authorities to initially close the faculty of engineering and technology indefinitely.

The Vice-Chancellor told The Hindu that on Monday evening it came to light that two more students were missing. Police and the Fire Service and Rescue personnel launched search operations in the canal. After a night-long effort they fished out the bodies from the slush covered with water hyacinths.

DRO probe

Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam, accompanied by District Collector P. Seetharaman, District Revenue Officer S. Natarajan and others placed wreaths on the bodies of students kept at the Cuddalore mortuary.

The Minister told reporters that the deaths were unexpected. Since the victims belonged to other States, arrangements would be made to send the bodies to their native places after post-mortem.

Mr. Panneerselvam said on the direction of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi an enquiry would be conducted by the DRO into the incident.

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