Andhra Pradesh

Pavitra Sangamam tragedy: bodies retrieved after 19-hour search

Rescue teams retrieve one of the bodies of the four engineering students who drowned in Krishna River, near Vijaywada on Sunday.

Rescue teams retrieve one of the bodies of the four engineering students who drowned in Krishna River, near Vijaywada on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

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Ghat is out of sight of the SDRF team, say police

The bodies of the four engineering students who drowned in the Krishna river at the Pavitra Sangamam of Ibrahimpatnam were retrieved on Sunday morning.

The 19-hour operation by various rescue agencies began with hopes of finding the missing youngsters at around 3 pm on Saturday but the optimism did not last for at least an hour considering the vulnerable situation the victims were caught in.

The search by more than 80 personnel of the State Disaster Response Force, the National Disaster Response Force, the fire and the police personnel and fishermen continued in the night. A team from the Eastern Naval Command was pressed into service by the State by Sunday early hours. The bodies of K. Praveen, 18, of Sowpadu (Guntur), N. Srinadh, 19, of Tiruvuru and K. Naga Krishna Chaitanya, 18 of Reddygudem were found at around 7.30 am.

About three hours later the body of P. Raj Kumar, 19, of Kothapeta in the city was retrieved from a spot close to the opposite bank of the river. Family members and friends of the deceased broke down upon seeing the bodies. As the bodies began decomposing, they were rushed to the government hospital where an inquest and post-mortem were done. They were then handed over to family members.

All the four were studying second year engineering in Kanchikacherla. The police said they were washed away by the gushing water of the Godavari into the Krishna at the confluence point. “After being asked not to venture into the river near pavitra harathi, the students moved to the ghat near the confluence point which is out of sight of the SDRF team posted there,” a police official said. At the ghat near pavitra harathi, water is mostly still.

Minister for Water Resources D. Umamaheswara Rao, who visited the spot, announced an ex gratia of ₹10 lakh to the families of each student.

“The government will give an ex gratia of ₹5 lakh. The students’ college came forward to extend a financial help of ₹5 lakh to each student,” he said.

All the rescue teams worked in coordination in retrieving the bodies at the earliest possible, he said.

Local fishermen, well aware of the surroundings of the area and river, played a key role in the search operation.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 10:31:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/pavitra-sangamam-tragedy-bodies-retrieved-after-19-hour-search/article24248584.ece

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