Seven deaths reported from capital city alone

The festival of colours turned tragic with at least 11 Holi revellers drowning while taking bath in canals and rivers in separate incidents in the State on Thursday.

Of the 11 deaths, seven were reported from the capital city. Four persons died while one more were missing in the Bhargavi river at Balakati, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The victims were taking bath after celebrating Holi in the afternoon. “We have so far recovered four bodies. Search operation was continuing to trace another body,” said Ramesh Majhi, assistant fire officer of Bhubaneswar.

A youth got drowned in a pond at Beherasahi in Nayapalli area of the capital city. The body was fished out. Two more persons were reported to have died at Daya Bridge and Hirapur on the outskirts of city.

Similarly, reports from Kenrapara district said two persons, including a boy, drowned while taking bath in a canal. An eight-year-old boy drowned in a pond at Sinduria in Nayagarh district.

Despite deployment of 28 platoons of police in the capital city, Holi revellers, especially youngsters, had a field day on main roads.

Revellers zipping past one another on motorbikes at a breakneck speed was a common sight. Scores of accidents occurred due to collisions and skidding on the road. However, on lanes and by-lanes the scene was different. Since the morning, people especially youngsters, were seen splashing colours on their friends. Children also enjoyed Holi. They exchanged greetings by hugging each other. Elderly masses also could not stay away from festivities. Younger ones touched their feet seeking blessing on the occasion. Drop of 3 degree Celsius in temperature on Thursday compared to Wednesday also suited for the celebration.

In other cities, similar scenes were witnessed.

Revellers were seen dancing to the tune of popular Bollywood numbers. Even processions were taken out by enthusiastic youngsters greeting every passer-by.

Of the 11 deaths, seven were reported from the Capital City, while the other four persons drown in Bhargavi