In a tragic incident on Diwali eve, a group of young students, celebrating a birthday party with a swim, drowned in a temple pond in Ambernath town here on Friday afternoon, police said.
The tragedy occurred around 1.30 p.m. at the Kondeshwar Shiv Temple water tank where the Mumbai boys - all aged 19 - had gone to celebrate the birthday of their friend Akash R. Zinga.
According to Kulgaon Police Station, this afternoon, three of them, birthday boy Zinga, along with Suraj M. Salve and Linus B. Uchchapawar, had dived into the temple tank for a swim.
However, they failed to anticipate the depth of the water and got pulled inside even as their friends Pratik A. Hate and Swayam B. Manjrekar jumped into the tank to save them.
As the drowning trio struggled, even the saviour Manjrekar was dragged into the waters and they all drowned, while Hate managed to return to safety and informed the locals who summoned the Kulgaon police.
"All the deceased four were residents of Ghatkopar suburb in eastern Mumbai and were college students. We have registered an accidental death report and are probing further whether they were intoxicated in any manner and related aspects," an official said here this evening.
The work of fishing out the bodies of the boys from the tank was completed this evening and after their autopsy, they will be handed over to the respective families, he added.
Meanwhile, a pall of gloom fell over Ghatkopar with thousands preparing to celebrate the first day of the auspicious Diwali festival.
The scenic Kondeshwar Shiv Temple, nestling among lush green hills in Thane, is a popular day-picnic spot with a large water tank with streams and monsoon waterfalls in the vicinity, frequented by people from Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and other places.
(With inputs from IANS)