In yet another mishap during the Ganesha idol immersion, four boys drowned in the Yamuna and the western Yamuna link canal in Delhi on Sunday afternoon.
The accidents took place in three different parts of the river. While two boys drowned in the river at Sonia Vihar, one lost his life at Shastri Park. Another boy was washed away by the strong currents in the link canal at Bawana.
The police cordoned off the area shortly after the incidents and started search and rescue operations. However, their bodies could not be retrieved until late on Sunday evening because of the strong currents in the river swollen by monsoon rains.
The first accident took place at around 2:00 pm. The fire officials received a call at around 2:30 pm that three boys had drowned in the link canal at Bawana. Police and fire and rescue personnels rushed to the spot.
Though they were able to rescue two boys, aged 12 and 20 years, they were couldn't to rescue the third one. The boys had gone to the link canal with their family members. They were swept away by the strong currents, just after they stepped into the waters for taking a dip. Though a person from the group tried to pull out the boys from the canal, he failed.
The second incident took place near Shastri Park at around 3:30 pm.
"We received a call that a boy had drowned around 3.25pm. We rushed teams to the spot. The rescue operation went on till late in the evening but the boy could not be found," a senior fire rescue personnel was quoted as saying by Times of India. He also added that a rescue team will conduct a second search on Monday morning.
The victim in the Shastri Park incident had also gone for Ganesha idol immersion with his family. However, Subhash Bhatia, an eye witness, told media that somebody pushed the boy into the river.
"I stay in the area and saw the boy drowning. Since I don't know how to swim, I could not take a dip, but the least I could do is to inform the police about the incident," said Bhatia.
The police are investigating the allegations.
The third mishap where in two brothers drowned in Sonia Vihar at around 4:00 pm.
"I had gone to immerse a Ganesha idol when two of my cousins drowned in the river. The rescue teams have not been able to find them so far. This was the first time they had come to the immersion with us," said 22-year-old Kavita.
On 28 August, three persons were electrocuted when an overhead electrical wire got in touch with a huge Ganesh idol at Baza Kadamtala ghat in Kolkata.
Every year, fire departments receive several calls of people getting drowned in the river during idol immersions.
Last year, seven people were killed in Nashik in Maharashtra during Ganesha idol immersion.