Torrential rains and hailstorm which battered Bengaluru on Sunday claimed the life of Bhanurekha, a 23-year-old techie, after the car she was travelling in was submerged in water in an underpass at K.R. Circle in the heart of the City. The incident occurred a stone’s throw away from Vidhana Soudha a day after the new government led by Siddaramaiah was sworn in.
A resident of Pragathi Nagar near Electronics City, Bhanurekha was an employee at Infosys. She was out with her family, who were visiting her from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on a sightseeing trip, when the vacation turned into a nightmare.
The family had booked a cab for sightseeing and had their last stop at Cubbon Park, which was closed due to rain. On their way back home, at the underpass of K.R. Circle, persuaded by an auto rickshaw driver, Harisha, who was driving the cab, drove into the underpass.
Water too deep
However, the water’s deceptive depth, which was around eight feet, resulted in the car floating and water soon gushed into the car from all sides. While the driver and all the other passengers made it out safely, Bhanurekha, who was sitting in the rear seat of the car, did not make it. She was declared dead at St Martha’s hospital where she was taken after the fire and emergency personnel carried out a rescue operation.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who visited the spot and the hospital, said, “There were barricades erected near the underpass, but due to strong winds and rain, they had fallen down. The driver should not have entered the underpass. When the car went there, water gushed inside and the doors got jammed. The doctors said that she was dead by the time she was brought to the hospital.”
₹5 lakh compensation
While declaring a ₹5 lakh compensation for Banurekha’s family, he also said that the treatment charges of all the other members who were trapped in the car would be covered by the government. The family members alleged that Banurekha was denied emergency treatment at the hospital. Responding to these allegations, the Chief Minister said, “The doctors said that they did not deny treatment. However, we will investigate the matter and take action if there was any neglect or denial.”
Mr Siddaramiah also said that his government would take up drainage clearance and action against encroachment of rajakaluves on a priority basis to prevent any untoward incidents during the soon approaching monsoons.
The heavy rains and hailstorms in brought the city to a standstill on Sunday afternoon as trees were uprooted in many areas including RT Nagar, Malleshwaram, Kumara Krupa road and Windson Manor junction among other places. Homes in Mahalakshmi Layout, Malleswaram and some other parts of the city were also waterlogged following the rains.