Bodies of the four engineering students from Andhra Pradesh who drowned in Krishna river near Vijayawada on Saturday were fished out on Sunday, the state police said.
This came after the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Navy divers from the Eastern Naval Command joined the rescue operations. The rescue work was called off on late on Saturday and resumed early on Sunday. A police officer said that about 100 personnel participated in the rescue operations.
Krishna District Collector Vijay Krishna and other top officials rushed to the scene on Saturday night. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also took note of the incident and directed officials to spare no effort in the rescue operations.
The bodies of Praveen (18), Chaitanya (18) and Srinath (19) were shifted to a government hospital in Vijayawada for autopsy. 19-year-old Rajkumarâ€™s body was found soon after the first three bodies were retrieved and was also sent for a post-mortem.
The incident occurred at Pavitra Sangamam, the confluence points of Krishna and Godavari rivers at Ibrahimpatnam. Five second year students of a private engineering college at Kanchikacharla had gone there for a picnic. When they saw one student drowning while taking a bath, three others tried to save him but all of them were washed away in strong currents. The fifth student alerted the police.
Police said one of the students crossed the safety railing, which led to the tragedy.
In the second week of November last year, an overloaded boat of a private operator carrying 45 tourists and three crew members capsized roughly near the same spot and killed 21 tourists.
The tourists were coming from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangamam to witness the â€˜Maha haarathiâ€™ ritual on the last Sunday of the auspicious month of Karthika. The police said that the driver was inexperienced and unfamiliar with the area. He suddenly lost control of the overloaded boat, which capsized.
With IANS inputs