Day 3 of search: Divers yet to fish out boy’s body from Gadoli canal
Officials engaged in the operation said that the canal carries sewage and industrial effluents producing toxic gases which hindered the movement of rescue workers inside a covered stretch
At least 20 deep divers on Tuesday continued the search for an eight-year-old boy who fell in a canal at Gadoli village near Umang Bhardwaj chowk in Sector 37D on Sunday. However, the third day of search operations also proved unsuccessful as the boy could not be located.
Officials engaged in the operation said that the canal carries sewage and industrial effluents producing toxic gases which hindered the movement of rescue workers inside a covered stretch.
Dishant Ladot allegedly fell in the canal near his house at about 4pm on Sunday. A rescue operation by divers of the Gurugram police, fire department, and India Reserve Battalion, Bhondsi began within an hour of the incident.
Officials said that an 11-member team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Ghaziabad and a second team of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) from Kurukshetra reached the spot on Tuesday morning and took over search operations around 7am.
The operation ended around 6.30pm and NDRF team leader Gaurav Patel said that a three-kilometre-long stretch of the canal was covered during the day. “We tried to enter the covered area of the canal but could only move for 100-200 metres because of the presence of poisonous gases,” he said.
Several manhole lids on the covered stretch were removed so to release the gases. “High-power exhaust fans will be installed on Wednesday to flush out poisonous gases from the covered stretch, enabling divers to go inside,” Patel added. He further said that the search operation extended10km downstream where the canal meets a Delhi sewerage system ahead of Dhankot.
“The canal is filled with garbage and sludge making it difficult to search. The water level is low at present but was high on Sunday with strong currents. Hence it’s difficult to ascertain how far the boy could have been carried by the currents,” Patel said. He added that given the canal’s condition and the time elapsed, the boy’s chances of survival are bleak.
Inspector Arvind Kumar, station house officer, Sector 10 police station, said that earlier there was only one SDRF team engaged in the search operation. “Five private deep divers also reached the spot from Delhi after they were roped in by authorities,” he said. More than 60 rescue personnel, including 20 deep divers are engaged in the search operation, he added.
Kumar informed that divers were unable to search the covered stretch of the canal from Basai to Dhankot on the day of the incident.“The initial search operation was conducted between Gadoli and Basai, which is a three-kilometre stretch, using three inflatable motor boats. It then continued ahead of Dhankot to the point where the canal spreads over a 1000-acre plot where it merges with a Delhi sewerage system,” he said.
The SHO reached the village around 3pm on Tuesday to pacify villagers and clear the blockade on the Gurugram-Pataudi Road which began soon after the incident took place. After discussions and arguments with village elders, the blockade was finally removed around 5.30pm on Tuesday after almost 48 hours, police said.
According to cops, 50 to 60 women who were sitting on the road in a temporary tent also vacated the spot, and logs were removed allowing traffic movement.
Om Parkash and Neelam Devi, two village elders protesting at the spot, said that the entire village is united and wants the boy to be found. “We also want the canal to be fenced or covered so that no such incident happens again,” they said.