Five members of a family, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed after the car they were travelling in fell into the Hydel Canal along the Amritsar-Pathankot road near Barth Sahib on Monday night.
While two bodies were recovered soon after the incident was reported, two were recovered on Tuesday morning, and one remained missing at the time of filing of this report.
Deputy superintendent of police (rural) Prabhjot Singh Virk, who reached the spot soon after the incident, said the incident occurred at around 11.45pm on Monday, when the victims, who belonged to Khoba village near Barth Sahib, were on their way back from attending a wedding at Pakhochak village near Taragarh.
The DSP added that their relative Karanveer, who was in another car leading the way, said the victims’ Nano was following two cars, but disappeared suddenly.
He said he thought the victims had stopped to attend the nature’s call, and so continued driving.
When the car did not reappear, other relatives suspected that something was wrong and drove back on the track along the river, and found the car submerged in the water, with its headlights shining.
Senior superintendent of police Rakesh Kaushal, station house officer Vipin Kumar and the DSP reached the spot and fished out two bodies that were stuck in the car, identified as Sahil, 8, and his grandmother Gulshan Kumari, 50.
“As the current was very fast, we requested the deputy commissioner to ask the Ranjit Sagar Dam authorities to stop the flow of water so we could begin the rescue operation,” the DSP said.
“The relatives told us that there were five people in the car, of which three were still missing. After resuming our search, we recovered the bodies of Jagdish Singh, 53, and his brother and Kumari’s husband Balbir Singh, 65. Their bodies were stuck in the net at Faridanagar, a few kms from the accident site,” the DSP said.
“We are now searching for Disha, 17, who is missing,” he added.
“Preliminary investigation shows the driver could not keep to the track, which runs along the fast-flowing canal, in the dark, resulting in the car plunging into the water body,” he added.
“We have registered a case under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code and sent the four bodies to Pathankot civil hospital for post-mortem examination, and hope to locate the missing girl soon,” he said.
This is the second mishap near Pathankot in the last few days. Earlier, two girls had died in an autorikshaw and bus collision.