The death toll in the drowning incidents during Wednesday’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the Capital has climbed up to 17, officials of Delhi Fire Services aiding rescue operations said on Thursday.
The rescuers, who had pulled out bodies of eight youngsters belonging to the same West Delhi neighbourhood till Wednesday night, recovered nine more bodies from the Qudasia Ghats on Thursday. Sources said Boat Club divers were searching for four to five more persons.
“Around 17 persons were reported missing from various ghats where Lord Ganesha’s idols were immersed on Wednesday. Rescue operations are on,” said a DFS official.
The Subzi Mandi mortuary, where the recovered bodies were sent for post-mortem examination, was full of concerned relatives waiting for any information about their missing kin.
“There is no one here from the government here. There were no railings for anyone to follow a route. It looked like everyone was just following the group. I have lost my only son. I told him not to go for the immersion,” said Bimlesh Kumari
Grief enveloped a small locality in west Delhi that lost five of its members.
“He left the house at noon like every year and his body was fished out half an hour later,” said 23-year-old Gaurav’s father Amar Nath. Gaurav was among five men from west Delhi’s Pathshala Wali Gali who drowned during the tragedy.
Jitendra’s sister-in-law, who did not wish to be named, stood outside his house with his picture in her hand in the hope that a government official would come with some news of him having survived. In the adjacent bylane, Nitin’s friends gathered outside his residence and joined his family in a painful wait.
“I just got swept away by the tide. There were so many people. A few hours later, I woke up and was told that a few fishermen had rescued me,” said Sanjay Chauhan, a survivor.