A 25-year-old photographer drowned in the swimming pool of a star hotel near Gandhi Maidan early Friday morning.
Deepak Kumar, a resident of Pirmuhani in Kadamkuan, literally walked into the pool at 5.02am with no one paying attention to it. Closed-circuit television cameras of the star hotel caught the man’s death after he struggled to get out of the pool.
Police said they were informed about the tragedy around 6am after which the body was sent to Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) for post-mortem.
“The hotel administration informed us about the incident and we immediately reached the spot. By then, the hotel employees had fished out the body from the pool. His body has been sent to the PMCH for post-mortem,” an officer at the Gandhi Maidan police station said.
The police have gone through the CCTV footage that shows the man appearing from the eastern end of the pool and walking into the water.
“The depth of the pool at the eastern end was the deepest and he just plunged into it. The footage shows the man struggling for some time. Metres away from the incident spot, there was a white SUV standing and a few people were seen loading materials into it. There was a wedding reception on the poolside of the hotel on Thursday night and the men were loading the wedding goods,” the officer added. However, none of them paid attention to Deepak struggling in the water. Seconds after the man drowned, another person walked from the southern side towards the pool. But he didn’t notice the body.
The pool opens for guests at 6am. Around 5.45am, a hotel employee came to clean the pool. He spotted the floating body and alerted the hotel administration. The pool is 16.54m in length and around 7.62m in width. The depth of the pool differs at different points with the deepest being 2.54m. This was the spot where Deepak fell.
A senior hotel official said: “Normally, an employee always mans the CCTV control room. But it was drizzling so no one did on Friday. An employee was at the control room till late night but he had gone to the washroom when the incident occurred. The employee, who saw the body, informed me immediately and we all rushed to the pool. After taking the body out of the water, we tried to revive him but in vain. I also sent one employee to Holy Cross Hospital and another to the Gandhi Maidan police station. We don’t know how the incident happened. Going by the CCTV footage, it seems that he walked into the water. He could have been drowsy. We are yet to figure out what he was doing at the hotel when the wedding reception had ended by 1am. Going by the CCTV footage, it seems he was in the changing room, which is around 20ft from the pool. We checked his pockets and found his visiting card. His family has been informed. We have not witnessed anything of this kind before. We are still in a shock.”
Deepak was the eldest among a brother and a sister. He was into photography and videography for private parties and functions. His father, Chandrakant Jha, is a fruit seller and has a shop in Kadamkuan. Sources said he was saving money for his sister’s wedding.
“We cannot say what happened to him. He might have been under the influence of liquor but we are waiting for the post-mortem report. We don’t think he was drunk because he walked straight into the pool. He might have been sleepy and once he fell in the water, he went into a shock,” another police officer said.