Chennai

Two boys drown while swimming in the Cooum

In mourning: Relatives of one of the victims at Mackay’s Garden on Greames Road.

In mourning: Relatives of one of the victims at Mackay’s Garden on Greames Road.  

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River has become deeper after the recent desilting drive

Two children who went for a swim in the Cooum, abutting Mackay’s Garden on Greames Road, drowned on Sunday. The river has become deep after it was desilted recently. The victims were Pradeep, 8, son of Prabhuraj and Dhanalakshmi, and Ritesh Kumar, 12, son of Siva and Jamuna. The families live in Alagiri Nagar on Greames Road.

Stephen, 13, the victims’ friend who jumped into the river to save them, was rescued and admitted to a hospital. The bodies of Pradeep and Ritesh were sent for post-mortem. A case was registered in the Thousand Lights police station, and investigation is on.

Recalling the events leading to the accident, P. Jayalakshmi, 12, Pradeep’s elder sister, said she had accompanied her brother as the boys promised to show her parrots. “Initially, we played on the banks of the river. After sometime, Ritesh and Pradeep got into the water for a swim, but they started drowning,” she said.

Stephen jumped into the river to rescue them but almost drowned.“Hearing my cries, residents jumped in and saved Stephen. But they could not find Pradeep and Ritesh,” she said. A Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Vehicle was pressed into service and retrieved the bodies.

Unfinished wall

M. Narendran, a resident of Mackay’s Garden, who was among those who rescued Stephen, said, “We saw one boy’s hands and I along with a few others pulled him to the shore.” The residents urged the government to finish constructing a compound wall along the river at the earliest to stop children from going near the waterbody.

The children were playing in the morning as well, and residents had chased them away. “The wall is unfinished. Water from the Metrowater pumping station flows into the river here, and children often come to fish. Even a few of our goats have died after falling in,” Mr. Narendran added.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:27:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/two-boys-drown-while-swimming-in-the-cooum-mackays-garden-greames-road-greams-road-thousand-lights/article29612576.ece

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