After an intensive search operation lasting over nine hours, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams found the body of a Bengaluru temple priest, who had been washed away into a storm water drain on Friday night.
However, rescue personnel are yet to trace a mother and daughter who were washed away in the Laggere area.
The priest, Vasudev, had been washed away from outside the Venkateswara temple in SVK Layout after heavy rains lashed Kurubarahalli and Mahalakshmi Layout, among other parts of Bengaluru.
The NDRF team found Vasudev's body in a storm water drain located behind St Mary's School in Kurubarahalli.
“This is within just a kilometre from where he got washed away. His body was found sometime between 11.30 am and 11.45 am. Vasudev got washed away last night. The NDRF and Fire and Emergency Services personnel began search operations immediately,” said Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj.
The Mayor said that the search for Vasudev and others who had been washed away had been delayed till Saturday morning due to continuing heavy rains. “Due to heavy rain, the operation was called off at around 9 pm. Early this morning at around 4am the search operation began again,” the Mayor said.
“Vasudev’s body has been taken to his residence and will later be taken for an autopsy,” he added.
While Vasudev’s body was finally located, however, a mother and daughter – 55-year-old Ningavva and 22-year-old Pushpa – who were washed away in nearby Laggere, are still to be traced. Ningavva and Pushpa were washed away when they came onto the road from their rapidly flooding house on Friday night, and were caught up in the heavily flowing rainwater.
Though some local media reports suggested that rescue personnel had been slack in the search for Ningavva and Pushpa, the Mayor rubbished these reports and said that an intensive search had been on since early Saturday morning.
"There are 150 NDRF personnel split into three teams. There is one team of Fire and Emergency Services personnel looking for the two women. There has been no laxity on our behalf in searching for these residents of Bengaluru. It is our first priority to look for them. The search teams have been working really hard since the morning," Mayor Sampath Raj said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited the Kurubarahalli and Laggere areas where the mishaps occurred. The BBMP has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those who died or are suspected to have been killed in the rains on Friday night.
BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa, and Union Minister Sadananda Gowda also visited those affected by the rains in Kurubarahalli.
"I am pained by the deaths which have happened in the city. I visited the families of those who have died and offered my condolences. We also conducted a survey of the area. This only shows how corrupt the Congress government is," Yeddyurappa told mediapersons.
Besides the three people who were washed away on Friday night, another couple was killed in Kurubarahalli when the compound wall of their house collapsed on them. Shankarappa and Kamalamma, both in their forties, were clearing water from their house, when the wall collapsed at around 7.30pm. Though they were rushed to a nearby private hospital, they were declared brought dead.