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Woman falls into river in Madhya Pradesh, rescued 16 km downstream after 15 hours

According to Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP), Manoj Mishra, “It seems that in an effort to catch the bag, Sonam fell into the river as the motorcycle skid.” Her brother Kallu tried to follow her on his motorcycle but lost her trail after about a kilometre.

Sonam Singh, 33, after being brought ashore. She had fallen back into the river after a boat that picked her up overturned. Express

A married woman who accidentally fell into Betwa river on Thursday evening was rescued from a place 16km downstream after a 15-hour-long through-the-night rescue operation. She was rescued once in-between but, as fate would have it, the motorboat that was bringing her ashore overturned and she got lost in the gushing waters again.

Sonam Singh, 33, of Vidisha district was riding pillion with her brother Kallu Dangi to her parental home in Padariya village for Rakshabandhan.

Around 6:30pm when they were crossing Barrighat bridge, a bag she was holding somehow slipped and fell into the river whose water was already flowing over the bridge.

According to Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP), Manoj Mishra, “It seems that in an effort to catch the bag, Sonam fell into the river as the motorcycle skid.” Her brother Kallu tried to follow her on his motorcycle but lost her trail after about a kilometre.

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Kallu then informed the police but with the daylight gone, the search team could not find Sonam despite looking for her over the next three hours.

Another team of district administration heard a woman’s cries for help. “It was pitch dark and maybe Sonam spotted the searchlights and started shouting for help,” added Mishra.

Sonam was spotted by the patrolling team, clinging on to the iron rods of a pillar of the under-construction Ganj Ghat bridge about 2.5 km away from where she went missing.

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A team of four finally managed to reach Sonam at 3:15 am. She was given a life jacked and safely brought onto a motorboat. But as the boat was making its way to the shore, strong water currents toppled it and all on board, including Sonam, fell into the river.

“I was called by the SP at 3:30am and informed that we have successfully rescued the woman. And 30 minutes later, I was told that the boat had overturned,” said Mishra.

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Officials sounded an alert, urging nearby villagers to look for a woman in Betwa. The only solace this time was that Sonam had a life jacket on her.

“We were sure that she was a good swimmer because she survived a distance of 2.5 km in gushing waters. It was about 12 km further down the river that she was finally spotted, clinging on to a tree near Raj Kheda,” Mishra told The Indian Express.

The tree was about 120 metres away from the shore. With help of five local villagers, Sonam was pulled to the shore and taken to a primary health centre. After being declared medically fit, she was handed over to her family.

“It was the most harrowing 15 hours of my life…we are happy that we could save her,” said Mishra.

First published on: 12-08-2022 at 10:56:34 pm
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