Six people were washed away while they were swimming in the Kollidam river near Poondi in Thanjavur district on Monday, October 3. While the corpses of two persons have been found, the police and fire department personnels have undertaken search operations to find the remaining four. The six members were identified as D Charles (38), D Prithviraj (39), T Issac (19), David (32), S Kermel (19), and S Praveen Raj (19).
While the bodies of Charles and Prithviraj were retrieved, the police and the fire department personnel have been using inflatable boats to look for the remaining people. After six hours of searching, Davidâ€™s body was also found.
The six members of a 40-member group from Thoothukudi was on a pilgrimage to the neighbouring Poondi Madha Basilica. Wanting to take a bath before visiting the temple, the six of them went to the river on Monday morning and had gone to the deeper end of the river while swimming. Unable to keep up with the fast undercurrent, they had cried for help and people who were nearby had immediately called the fire department personnel.
According to the Thirukapatti police, after the six people entered the water, a sudden undercurrent swept them away. Police officers have been deployed on the banks of the river and the search is underway. The bodies have been sent to Thiruvaiyuru Government hospital for post-mortem.
According to reports, the local population has demanded for warning boards and signs that will deter people from entering the water bodies when there are fast currents or indications of flooding. The people residing in areas close to the river also believe that there are a large number of drowning accidents and want the Tamil Nadu government, the police department and the fire department to enforce precautionary measures that will prevent such incidents.
(With IANS inputs)