New Year celebrations turned tragic for a software engineer from Uttar Pradesh when he, along with scores of others, plunged into a swimming pool after the dance floor they were reveling on caved in on Monday, 20 minutes before midnight.
Sumit Agnihotri (24) drowned in the swimming pool trapped by the wooden planks on which officials of Hotel Savera had put up the dance floor. Sumit’s body was fished out of the pool by police and hotel personnel.
Two other software professionals – Anand and Ramba — who too got trapped beneath the planks in the water have been admitted to Apollo Hospital with serious injuries. Ten others suffered minor injuries.
Police said that hotel authorities had illegally constructed the makeshift dance floor using wooden planks by covering the swimming pool. “The dance floor was not adequately supported so it gave in when hundreds of people started jumping as the New Year approached,” a police officer said. The city police have now issued a notice to the hotel asking it to explain for putting up an unauthorised dance floor without adequate safety measures.
The police forced the hotel to cancel all further activities in the area, which infuriated the revelers, as they had to forego their dinner.
“We had paid for the dinner as well so how can the police cancel that because of this tragedy?” asked Vishwam, a college student. A section of the revelers got into an argument with the police, which escalated into a fistfight forcing the cops to use mild lathicharge to disperse the inebriated crowd.
The hotel management in a statement clarified that the wooden floor was meant only for the music troupe and its dancers who were performing on behalf of the hotel. But when more than 100 guests suddenly ran to the wooden floor and started to dance it could not take the extra weight. The management also blamed the contractor for not giving enough support to the dance floor from the bottom of the swimming pool.