It has been an agonising wait of over 24 hours for the family and friends of those who went missing as heavy rain battered the city and parts of it were flooded on Wednesday night.
One of those missing was Victor Sangale, 26, an amputee and cancer survivor who returned from the northeast on Wednesday evening after completing a cycling expedition. Within hours of his return, he was driving to NIBM Road to meet his cousins when his car got stuck in floodwater at Bhairoba bridge near Ganga Satellite society in Wanowrie at 10.30 pm. “That was my last call to him. He told me there were some cars that had rammed into each other and he did not know where he was,” said his cousin, who didn’t wish to be named.
Victor had gone with 12 friends for the cycling expedition to Sela Pass, located on the border between Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh. “We had cycled 340 km,” said one of Victor’s friends.
Victor’s family members and friends gathered at Bhairoba bridge on Thursday morning, waiting for some news about him. Mahesh Punde, a corporator from Wanowrie who also helped in the rescue operations, said an NDRF team was also involved in the search operations.
Nikita Thutte, 22, was in an autorickshaw with her brother Shubham and a friend when the vehicle was swept away in the floodwater at Wadgaon Dhairy on Wednesday night. Her brother and the friend managed to escape as they jumped out of the autorickshaw.
At Sassoon General Hospital, Nikita’s father Sanjay couldn’t hold back his tears as he and other family members waited the entire day for some news about her. “I was travelling in the autorickshaw with my sister and a friend when the heavy rain and flooding swept away the vehicle. I managed to jump out with my friend but the autorickshaw was swept away, with my sister and the driver,” said a tearful Shubham.
“She studied engineering… and had got a placement,” said Shubham’s friend Balaji Gutte.
Salim Shaikh, 45, was also reported missing since Wednesday night, after he took Bhairoba bridge to help out his brother Aslam, whose car was stuck at Netaji Nagar in the heavy rain. Aslam said that he had called his brother as he could not get any other mode of transport.
“My brother was on his way from NIBM Road and he took that bridge. Ever since that last call, he has been missing,” said Aslam.
Till the time of going to press, all three were still missing.