Mumbai

Palghar woman feared drowned after falling into Vaitarna river

Baby Ramesh Bhoir

Baby Ramesh Bhoir   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A 58-year-old woman from Wadhiv village in Palghar district is feared drowned after falling into the Vaitarna river while crossing a railway bridge on Thursday.

The woman, Baby Ramesh Bhoir, was walking to Vaitarna railway station around 3.30 p.m. when the accident occurred. Even after a search of over 24 hours, she remained untraced.

Prakash Patil (43), a resident of Wadhiv, said Ms. Bhoir was taking lunch to her daughter, who was hospitalised in Kelwa. “It started raining heavily while she was crossing the bridge. Ms. Bhoir lost her balance and fell through a gap between two metal sheets covering the bridge,” he said.

The British-era railway bridge is the only link between Wadhiv village and the mainland. Mr. Patil said the bridge has a path for pedestrians, which is covered with iron sheets. These sheets shift when people walk on it and at places there are gaps as huge as two feet between them, he said.

A woman walking ahead of Ms. Bhoir saw her fall and rushed back to the village to raise an alarm. “Villagers set out in their small boats to rescue her, but by the time we reached the bridge, we could not see her. We sailed for long stretches, but could not find her,” Mr. Patil said.

Police sub-inspector Jayesh Khandarkar from the Virar police station said they got a call from the locals in the evening, and reached the spot with a rescue team from the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation’s fire brigade. “Our team could not carry out the search for long as it got dark by the time we sailed into the waters. It started pouring and due to poor visibility, we had to head back to the village,” Mr. Khandarkar said.

Ms. Bhoir’s family members filed a missing person’s complaint with the Virar police on Friday afternoon.

Mr. Khandarkar said they had alerted locals and police chowkies along the coast to keep an eye out in case the body washes ashore.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 6:33:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/palghar-woman-feared-drowned-after-falling-into-vaitarna-river/article28802564.ece

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