Lonavala Bhushi Dam Tragedy: Search operation is still ongoing

Seema Rai
Seema Rai

On Sunday afternoon, 15 individuals from two Sayyadnagar families in Hadapsar, Pune, died while on a monsoon expedition to Lonavala.
A 36-year-old mother and two girls, ages 13 and 8, drowned. A four-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl went missing. A surge in the volume of water in the backwaters of the Bhushi dam washed them away.

Police, Navy divers, and other rescue teams began their search on Monday. For two missing children, along with three other family members. The strong currents at a waterfall near the Bhushi Dam washed them away. Following the terrible occurrence on Sunday, rescue teams discovered the bodies of a 36-year-old lady and two little daughters. Police were searching for the other two missing children, Adnan Sabhahat Ansari (4) and Mariya Aqil Ansari (9).

“The search operation for the two kids resumed on Monday morning with the rescue teams of the Vanyajeev Rakshak Maval, Shiv Durg Trekkers Organisation, and Navy divers,” said a Lonavala police officer. A heartbreaking video of the tragedy shows a group of individuals, including those who died. People were getting washed away by flowing water produced by heavy rains in the area.

On Sunday, a search crew retrieved the bodies of Shahista Liaqat Ansari (36), Amima Adil Ansari (13), and Umera Adil Ansari (8) from a reservoir downstream. According to the police, 16-17 members of a family from Sayyad Nagar in Pune’s Hadapsar neighborhood hired a private bus to go to the scenic site near Lonavala for a picnic on a rainy Sunday.

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A police officer estimated that about 50,000 people visited Lonavala on Sunday

Members of the Ansari family went to witness the waterfall at the Bhushi Dam. But were caught off guard as the water flow swelled due to heavy rain in the area. They were later swept away by the heavy water stream.

A relative stated that the family members traveled from Mumbai for a wedding a few days ago. He stated that on Sunday, more than 15 members hired a bus to travel to Lonavala for a picnic. As the monsoon season approaches, thousands of visitors come to the Bhushi and Pavana dam sites, often rejecting police and local authorities’ advice to avoid unfamiliar places.


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