Three drown in picnic spot

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  • Published 4.06.05

Khunti, June 4: A picnic turned into a tragedy this afternoon when three members of a family drowned at Panchghag, 70 km from the state capital.

The spot, confluence of five different streams, attracts a large number of visitors and tourists but today there were very few people there to lend a helping hand to the family of Omprakash Bhalla, a businessman based at Khunti.

The deceased were identified as Ankit (18), Swati (17) and Sachin (24), son, daughter and son-in-law, respectively, of Bhalla. The bodies were sent for post-mortem before they were handed over to the family. Sachin Jhawar has a business unit in Howrah and was here on a short visit.

The police said the Bhallas reached the spot in a Maruti van around noon and chose a secluded area for the picnic. The teenagers and Sachin were the first to get into the stream.

But Ankit was either trapped in a whirlpool or his legs were caught in a ledge before he started screaming for help. Swati and Sachin rushed to his rescue but were themselves caught in the vortex.

The police claim that other members of the family had strayed away and took time to realise what had happened.

By the time they rushed back, all three had disappeared under water. The villagers fished out the bodies after half an hour.

Ankit was already dead while the other two died on their way to the hospital. No alcohol was found at the spot, the police said, blaming the family for choosing a secluded spot for picnic.