Six students, who went for a swim in Pedda Vagu, a rivulet, in Vasantawada village in the mandal in Agency area, drowned on Wednesday.
Villagers of Bhudevipeta went for ‘vana bhojanams’ into the forests to celebrate the conclusion of Dasara festivities. The students, went into rivulet,which was in spate. As they reportedly didn’t know swimming, they drowned.
The victims have been identified as Ganagdhara Venkataramana (17), Sriramula Shiva (17), Kunavarapu Radhakrishna (16), Killa Sai (17), Gottiparthi Major (16) and Karnati Ranjith (16), all natives of Bhudevipeta hamlet, said Integrated Tribal Development Authority Project Officer R.V. Suryanarayana.
On receiving information, police rushed to the spot and launched a search for the missing students. Expert swimmers retrieved the bodies after a few hours, the Velerupadu police said.
The rivulet (Pedda Vaagu) was overflowing due to heavy rains that had been lashing for the last few days, said residents of Vasantawada.
While the women in the families were cooking, a few youth crossed Pedda Vagu, to fetch water. While returning, one teenager slipped and fell in waters. To save him, five of his friends jumped into the water and were reportedly swept away, said West Godavari district Superintendent of Police K. Narayan Naik, who visited the spot.
“Post-mortem was conducted on the bodies at the spot. Later, police handed over the bodies to the family members,” the SP said.
Governor expresses grief
Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan expressed grief over the death of the students. He conveyed condolences to the bereaved families.
The students were studying Intermediate and other courses in different colleges, Mr. Suryanarayana said. The Velerupadu police registered a case and took up investigation. A pall of gloom descended in Bhudevipeta and Vasantawada villages.