Tragedy in western India: three family members drown at waterfall, two children still missing

Tragedy in western India: three family members drown at waterfall, two children still missing

A family outing turned tragic in western India’s Maharashtra, when three members, including two children, drowned at a waterfall behind the Bhushi Dam. 


The incident took place in Lonavala, Pune city on June 30.

Visuals showed five people getting trapped in the water current which rose higher than normal, the five individuals tried their best to stand firm and hold onto each other but in the end got swept away.


According to reports, two other children from the same family are still missing, according to local police.


The family, hailing from Hadapsar in Pune, was enjoying a picnic at the waterfall when the incident occurred. The Pune rural police, along with the Indian Navy’s INS Shivaji unit and local rescue group Shivdurg Mitra Mandal, launched a rescue operation. They recovered the bodies of Ameena Salman (13), her sister Umera Salman (8), and Shahista Liyakat Ansari (37). 


Police are still searching for Mariya Akil Sayyad (9) and Adnan Sabhahat Ansari (4), who were also swept away by the powerful water currents. The victims were part of an 18-member group from the families of Liyakat Ansari and Yunus Khan, who had traveled to Lonavala for a day of recreation.


Initially, the waterfall’s flow was mild, but heavy rainfall increased the water’s momentum, sweeping ten tourists into the reservoir around 3 pm. While five were rescued, the others were carried away by the strong currents. 


Inspector Suhas Jagtap of the Lonavala city police station explained, “The deceased and their relatives were playing in the water when the flow suddenly increased. They were swept away before anyone could react.”


The search operation was halted in the evening and will resume on Monday to find the missing children. The bodies of the deceased have been taken to a hospital for postmortem examinations. 


The waterfall is under the jurisdiction of the Indian Railways and Forest Department, and authorities plan to implement preventive measures to avoid future incidents. Police have urged citizens to avoid dangerous spots during the rainy season and to cooperate with officials at tourist locations.


This incident underscores the importance of safety precautions while enjoying natural sites, especially during the monsoon season in India.

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