Four college girls bunked their classes on Saturday and planned for an impromptu picnic at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai. Amid heavy rainfall in the city since Friday night, the girls drowned away in the raging Pandavkada waterfall in the Kharghar town on Saturday.
The incident occurred around 11 a.m. on Saturday when got carried away by the gush of water from the hilltop.
According to the report, the Kharghar fire Brigade has recovered the body of two of the deceased from Chembur Naka and Kharghar golf course, respectively. The search operation for the two other drowned girls is underway.
The girls skipped their classes to go to the picturesque waterfall along with six other friends. Three of the girls were studying in the SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce.
The three have been identified by the college authorities as Aarti Nair, Neha Dama and Shweta Nand. However, the fourth victim, Sneha Jain, is not from the same college. She has been identified by some of her friends who were part of the picnic group. All the drowned students are in the 18-19 years age group.
"The college is functioning normally, despite heavy rains. The classes started at 7.30 a.m., but these three girls were absent today. We also learnt of this tragedy from the police and media persons," college Principal Milind Vaidya told IANS.
Notably, Pandavkada waterfalls are listed as a dangerous picnic spot and picnickers are banned from going there during heavy rainfall. It is not clear how the girls managed to reach the restricted area and whether there was security deployed at the spot.
In 2010, at least 12 students had drowned in the waterfall, and in 2005 four had been swept away by the swirling waters of the fall.
(With Inputs from IANS)