Trader dies in ‘overcrowded’ BMC pool
A 36-year-old businessman died under mysterious circumstances at a BMC-run swimming pool in Ghatkopar (East) on Sunday morning.
Initial police investigations suggested that Bhavesh Chheda (36), a garment manufacturer from Ghatkopar and a regular at the pool since a year, could have died due to congestion in the lungs or suffered a heart attack due to exertion.
The incident occurred around 8.30 am when Chheda was swimming with a group in the Ghatkopar Lions MCGM Swimming Pool, Police Sub-inspector Arjun Jagdale.
The pool measures 80x80 ft. “He was found at the bottom of the pool by co-swimmers who alerted the trainers.
He was extricated and given first aid and was still breathing at the time,” Jagdale said. “He was rushed to Rajawadi hospital but declared dead before admission.”
Chheda’s friend Nishit Doshi told Hindustan Times that he and Chheda entered the pool around 8.15 am. “Around 8.30 am we spotted someone lying motionless at the bottom on the deeper side (15 ft). One of the trainers immediately dived in and pulled the person out — and it was Chheda,” said Doshi.
Vinayak Shinde, medical officer at Rajawadi Hospital, said Chheda was brought dead.
The body bore no external injuries. Also, he had no history of heart aliments.
While the police have registered a case of accidental death, they are also probing the possibility of overcrowding. “We are looking into every possible angle,” said R.M. Vhatkar, deputy police commissioner (Zone VII).
Some swimmers alleged as many as 50 people were called in a single batch for the swimming session on Sunday.
Doshi said the Ghatkopar pool was overcrowded after the closing down of another pool in Chembur around 18 months ago.
Wasim Ansari, a swimming instructor at several residential complexes, pointed out that if there were 50 people in the pool it was a clear case of overcrowding and negligence “Fifty people in one batch is more than the capacity of the pool. If someone is at swimming in 15-feet depth, the lifeguard posted on duty has to stand beside him.”
VP Prabhu, ward officer of N-ward, was unavailable for comment.
Chheda is survived by his wife and two children.