Three Indian Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel in their early 20s drowned in Ghaggar River at Chamala village in Morni on Sunday.
The bodies of all the three victims were fished out by residents of the nearby area. The deceased were identified as leading aircraftman (LAC) MS Chahal, a resident of Bathinda, corporal (CPL) K Kumar of Andhra Pradesh and LAC Vikas Kumar, a native of Bihar. The victims were posted at the Barwala air force station.
According to information, the victims along with their colleague LAC Pankaj had gone on an outing in a Mahindra jeep after taking permission from the authorities around 4pm. They stopped near a bridge at Chamala village to take a dip in the Ghaggar. Chahal, Kumar and Vikas jumped into the river while Pankaj stayed back as he could not swim.
The police said that the victims were not aware of the depth of the river and could not recover after jumping into it. On seeing his colleagues struggling to stay afloat, Pankaj shouted for help. Local residents Baldev Singh, Davinder Singh and Hari Singh along with others rushed to their rescue, but it was too late. After toiling hard for three hours, the rescuers managed to fish out the bodies.
Additional commissioner of police (ACP) Dalip Kumar, station house officer (SHO), Chandimandir, Suraj Chawla and Morni police post in charge Jasbir Singh, besides air force officers rushed to the spot.
The bodies have been kept in the Sector 6 government hospital, Panchkula, and will be handed over to families after post-mortem.
July 2013: Six youths were washed away in flash floods in the Ghaggar at Burj Kotian
August 2012: Four youths drowned in Tikkar Tal near Morni
June 2011: 23-year-old youth drowned in Tikkar Tal
March 2010: A resident of Nada village near Panchkula lost his life while swimming in Tikkar Tal