January 13, 2022 6:26:27 pm
Two days after five persons went missing after drowning in the Amli Dam after their boat capsized, rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) Thursday took part in the ongoing search operation.
Meanwhile, the Surat Mandvi taluka’s mamlatdar wrote a letter to Reliance Industries at Hazira to send their rescue team with scuba divers for assistance.
Sources said the incident took place Tuesday morning when Jitendra Vasava (40), a resident of Devgiri village in Mandvi taluka, left for farming on the other banks of Amli dam with his aunts, uncles and cousin brothers on a boat. Due to adverse weather conditions, the boat capsized and all the 10 occupants fell into the water.
While Jitendra and his cousin sisters Lalitaben Vasava (50) and Dibuben Vasava (55) managed to swim back to the shore, the others reportedly drowned in the water.
Sources said after Jitendra alerted the villagers, fire brigade teams from Bardoli Nagar Palika, Mandi Nagar Palika and Surat City reached the spot and initiated a search operation.
The police also took Jitendra’s statement and started a probe after registering an offence of accidental death. The rescue teams successfully fished out two bodies, which were later identified as Jitendra’s aunts Devniben Puniya Vasava (63) and Gimliben Ramsingh Vasava (62).
The five who are still missing are Jitendra’s parents Mirabhai Vasava (60) and Raluben Vasava (55), his uncle Magan Vasava (60), aunt Rayku Vasava (55) and his cousin brother Puniyabhai Vasava (65).
Talking to The Indian Express, Mandvi mamlatdar Manish Patel said, “The water is around 70 feet to 90 feet deep. Till Thursday morning, 16 people from the three fire brigade departments were involved with three boats in the search operation alongside a boat with five locals. Today (Thursday), the two teams of SDRF and NDRF put in all their efforts, including diving, but since it was quite deep, they could not go to the bottom.”
Surat Municipal Corporation’s Fire department officer Pravin Patel said, “We have been working hard for the last two days in the chilling weather to find the dead bodies but failed.”
Giving out details of the operation, Patel said, “The search teams include four boats with five men in each one that scaled around one kilometre area from the location where the boat capsized. Here, the water is still and not flowing and we suspect the bodies might have landed at the bottom. We also used mechanical trapping equipment tied with a rope and inserting it deep into the water but it hasn’t helped.”
He added, “Generally, in cases of drowning, a day after the incident, the bodies become decomposed and reach the banks with the help of flowing water. But here the water is still. Due to the low temperature, it will take a few more days for the dead bodies to hit the surface.”
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