Search operations at Savitri River in Mahad town of Maharashtra started again on Sunday at 6:00 in the morning, making it the fifth day of the operation being conducted by NDRF with the help of Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Local Fishermen. In today’s search, the NDRF, Navy and Coast Guard Jawans are searching collectively on these locations with modern Ultra Sound and Sonar equipments.
Till now they have recovered 25 bodies from Savitri River from which 23 bodies have been identified, in which 10 are of the passengers from Rajapur – Borivali bus, 7 from Jaigad – Mumbai bus and remaining six from private cars fallen in the River after a British-era bridge collapsed.
In the mishap of Tuesday night, two State Transport busses and two private cars fell in Savitri River along with 38 passengers. 13 passengers are still missing. Rescue teams are searching them without any hope of survival.
“We have to find bodies of the remaining passengers today,” said Mahendra Patil, Residential Nayab Tehsildar, Mahad, adding, “The longer the search operations continue, the worse the condition of the bodies will be.”
The tehsildar’s office is afraid that crocodiles will attack bodies floating down the river. “So far the crocodiles haven’t touched a single body, but once they do, there will be nothing to return to the families,” he said.
Forty personnel have been sent to comb the river bank along Mahad, Mandangad, Shrivardhan and Dapoli talukas. “Other agencies are working in the river and we are looking for bodies that may have washed up on the banks,” he said. The water level in the river had also not dipped sufficiently to allow the Coast Guard and the National Disaster Response Force to conduct full-fledged operations.
(with inputs from ENS)